Young people in Indonesia put off marriage

By VNA   April 16, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
Young people in Indonesia put off marriage
A group of young people are about to cross the street in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo by Unsplash/Rendy Novantino
There are a growing number of people in Indonesia putting off marriage, according to the country's statistics agency.

Only 1.58 million couples in Indonesia got married last year, 128,000 fewer than in 2022.

That number has been steadily falling since 2018 when 2.01 million marriages were recorded in the world’s fourth-most populous nation.

While declining marriage figures might be common in countries with shrinking populations, Indonesia’s population is growing each year, which underscores concerns by experts about changing attitudes towards marriage.

Southeast Asia’s most populous nation recorded a population of 277.5 million in 2023, compared with 267 million in 2018.

Sociologist Dede Oetomo, a professor of gender studies at Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java, said that Indonesia’s young population has been on the increase, but the number of marriages nationwide has been declining.

Declining marriage rates would jeopardize Indonesia’s stated target of becoming a developed country by the time it celebrates its centennial of independence in 2045.

Indonesia's family planning agency (BKKBN)'s head Hasto Wardoyo said that Indonesia wants to capitalize on its current demographic bonus – a period in which people of working age outnumber those who are economically dependent, which will peak between 2020 and 2035 – to avoid being stuck in the middle-income trap.

Countries fall into the middle-income trap if they are not able to move from a low-cost to a high-value economy. To transition successfully, there must be high enough population growth to help fuel economic growth. Hence, there is concern over declining marriages and subsequent birth rates.

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