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Young Macao residents don’t care much about marriage or child rearing, survey finds 

Nearly half of local respondents aged 18 to 34 said they had no desire for marriage in the next five years, and were similarly unenthused about having children
  • Various issues from housing and income to career aspirations and lack of time are behind the reluctance to start a family in Macao, pollsters say

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A new survey by the Women’s General Association of Macao has found that young people in Macao have little desire to marry or have children. 

The results of the study were reported at a press conference held by the organisation yesterday, during which representatives announced that almost 50 percent of the 925 participants between the ages of 18 to 34 had no matrimonial plans within the next five years. 

Some 49 percent of participants said that the cost of a wedding was a deterrent. A quarter said they had issues with their partners, while 19 percent offered personal reasons from career aspirations to negative views of marriage as an institution.

The respondents’ desire to have children was similarly lacklustre, scoring an average 4.76 out of 10 in this category, down 1.57 points from the 6.33 points that had been registered in the 2022 study.  

[See more: There are now seniors than children in Macao]

As for the reasons, 68 percent said that it was due to their busy work schedules and lack of time, while 73 percent stated that the expenses involved were an issue. 

During the press conference, the vice-chairman of the Women’s General Association of Macao, Wong Kit Cheng, said that the results could further exacerbate the decrease in marriage and birth rates, worsening the problem of Macao’s rapidly ageing population.

In order to combat the downward trend, Wong suggested a multipronged approach, including the cultivation of a positive culture of marriage and child rearing, economic support, the optimisation of family-friendly measures such as subsidies and flexible working hours, a comprehensive public housing policy, and improved healthcare for children and mothers.

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