Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Divorce Trends in Asia

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Asian Journal of Social Science

Abstract This paper presents and discusses recent trends in divorce for countries in Asia, highlighting both wide variations in divorce patterns and recent changes in divorce trends for countries in the region. Three broad regional patterns are evident: an East Asian pattern characterised by increasing divorce rates, though there are signs of stabilisation in some countries in the last few years; an Islamic Southeast Asian pattern characterised by declining divorce rates until recently; and a South Asian pattern with relatively stable and low divorce rates. The paper also discusses divorce in international marriages in some East Asian countries and Singapore.

Affiliations: 1: Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Alam Nurul , Saha Sajal K. , van Ginneken Jeroen K. "“Determinants of divorce in a traditional Muslim community in Bangladesh”" Demographic Research 2000 Vol 3 4 1 20
2. Bhuiya Abbas , Mushtaque A. , Chowdhury R. , Momen Mehnaaz , Khatun Mohsina "“Marital disruption: Determinants and consequences on the lives of women in a rural area of Bangladesh”" Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 2005 Vol 23 1 82 94
3. Bumpass Larry L. , Choe Minja Kim Tsuya Noriko O. , Bumpass Larry L. "“Attitudes relating to marriage and family life”" Marriage, Work and Family Life in Comparative Perspective: Japan, South Korea and the United States 2004 Honolulu University of Hawai’i Press 19 38
4. Bumpass Larry L. , Rindfuss Ronald R. , Choe Minja Kim , Tsuya Noriko L. "“The institutional context of low fertility: The case of Japan”" Asian Population Studies 2009 Vol 5 3 215 236
5. Caldwell Bruce K. "“Factors affecting female age at marriage in South Asia”" Asian Population Studies 2005 Vol 1 3 283 301
6. Chan Wing-Cheong "“Trends in non-Muslim divorces in Singapore”" International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 2008 Vol 22 1 91 121
7. Cherlin Andrew J. "“The deinstitutionalization of American marriage”" Journal of Marriage and Family 2004 Vol 66 4 848 861
8. China China Social Statistical Yearbook 2008 2008 China Statistics Press
9. Chou I-Hsun "“Mandatory divorce mediation in Taiwan: Legal regime, judicial attitudes and public opinions”" 2008 Dissertation The University of Chicago
10. Coleman David "“Why we don’t have to believe without doubting in the ‘second demographic transition’ — Some agnostic comments”" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2004 Vol 2 11 24
11. Courbage Youssef "“Marital Dissolution in Western Asia”" 2010 Presented at the Workshop on Marital Dissolution in Asia May 6–7 Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
12. Das Gupta Monica "“Family systems, political systems and Asia’s ‘missing girls’: The construction of son preference and its unraveling”" Asian Population Studies 2010 Vol 6 2 123 152
13. Fan Simon C. , Lui Hon-Kwong "“Extramarital affairs, marital satisfaction, and divorce: Evidence from Hong Kong”" Contemporary Economic Policy 2004 Vol 22 4 442 452
14. Gloria Charmian K. "“Who needs divorce in the Philippines?" Mindanao Law Journal 2007 Vol 1 18 28
15. Goode William J. World Changes in Divorce Patterns 1993 New Haven Yale University Press
16. Government of Singapore "“An occasional paper on marriages between Singapore citizens and non-Singapore citizens, 1998–2008”" 2009 Singapore National Population Secretariat
17. Heaton Tim B. , Cammack Mark , Young Larry "“Why is the divorce rate declining in Indonesia?”" Journal of Marriage and the Family 2001 Vol 63 2 480 490
18. Hirschman Charles , Teerawichitchainan Bussarawan "“Cultural and socioeconomic influences on divorce during modernization: Southeast Asia, 1940s to 1960s”" Population and Development Review 2003 Vol 29 2 215 253
19. Hong Kong, Census and Statistics Department "“Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, November 2007, Marriage and Divorce Trends in Hong Kong, 1981 to 2006” Government of Hong Kong" 2007
20. Japan, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare "“Summary of Vital Statistics”" 2010 Available online:
21. Jeng Wei-Shiuan , McKenry Patrick C. "“A Comparative Study of Divorce in Three Chinese Societies”" Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 2001 Vol 34 1 143 161
22. Jesmin Sonia , Salway Sarah "“Marriage among the urban poor of Dhaka: Instability and uncertainty”" Journal of International Development 2000 Vol 12 689 705<689::AID-JID704>3.0.CO;2-2
23. Jones Gavin W. Marriage and Divorce in Islamic Southeast Asia 1994 Singapore Oxford University Press
24. Jones Gavin W. "“Modernization and divorce: Contrasting trends in Islamic South-East Asia and the West”" Population and Development Review 1997 Vol 23 1 95 114
25. Jones Gavin W. "“Delayed marriage and very low fertility in Pacific Asia”" Population and Development Review 2007 Vol 33 3 453 478
26. Jones Gavin W. , Hsiu-hua Shen "“International marriage in East and Southeast Asia: Trends and research emphases”" Citizenship Studies 2008 Vol 12 1 9 25
27. JooEan Tan "“Social relationships in a modern age: Never-married women in Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila”" Journal of Comparative Family Studies 2010 Vol 41 5 749 765
28. Kim Doo-Sub "“The rise of international marriage and divorce in contemporary Korea”" Population and Society 2007 Vol 3 1 1 36
29. Knodel John E. , Chamratrithirong Aphichat , Debavalya Nibhon Thailand’s Reproductive Revolution: Rapid Fertility Decline in a Third-World Setting. 1987 Madison University of Washington Press
30. Lee Yean-Ju "“Risk factors in the rapidly rising incidence of divorce in Korea”" Asian Population Studies 2006 Vol 2 2 113 132
31. Lee Yean-Ju , Bumpass Larry "“Socioeconomic determinants of divorce/separation in South Korea: A focus on wife’s current and desired employment characteristics”" Development and Society 2008 Vol 37 2 117 139
32. Lee Yean-Ju , Seol Dong-Hoon , Cho Sung-Nam "“International marriages in South Korea: The significance of nationality and ethnicity”" Journal of Population Research 2006 Vol 23 2 165 182
33. Lesthaeghe Ron "“The unfolding story of the second demographic transition”" Population and Development Review 2010 Vol 36 2 211 251
34. Maznah Mohamad "“The ascendance of bureaucratic Islam and the secularization of the Sharia in Malaysia”" Pacific Affairs 2010 Vol 83 3 505 524
35. Nemoto Kumiko "“Postponed marriage: Exploring women’s views of matrimony and work in Japan”" Gender and Society 2008 Vol 22 2 219 237
36. New York Times "“The Great Indian Wedding is succumbing to the Great Indian Divorce”" 2008 19 February 2008
37. Ono Hiroshi Blomström Magnus , La Croix Sumner "“Divorce in Japan: Why it happens, why it doesn’t”" Institutional Change in Japan 2006 London Routledge 221 236
38. Park Hyunjoon "“Effects of single parenthood on educational aspiration and student disengagement in Korea”" Demographic Research 2008 Vol 18 13 377 408
39. People’s Daily "“Why divorce rises in China?”" 2005 17 June 2005
40. Platte Erica "“Divorce trends and patterns in China: Past and present”" Pacific Affairs 1988 Vol 61 3 428 445
41. Quah Stella R. Families in Asia: Home and Kin 2008 2nd ed Abingdon, Oxon Routledge
42. Raymo James , Iwasawa Miho , Bumpass James "“Marital dissolution in Japan: Recent trends and differentials”" Demographic Research 2004 Vol 11 4 395 419
43. Reid Anthony "“Female roles in pre-colonial Southeast Asia”" Modern Asian Studies 1988 Vol 22 3 629 645
44. Sachi Takaya "“How do the care roles of migrant women change after international divorce?”" 2010 Paper presented at conference on Transacted Intimacy: Political Economy of International Marriages in Asia 14–15 October Singapore Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
45. Sasaki Masahito , Wilson Terry L. "“Marriage and divorce in Japan”" Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 1997 Vol 26 3 125 135
46. Saw Swee Hock The Population of Singapore 2007 2nd ed Singapore Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
47. Siddhisena K. A. P. "“Marital disruption in Sri Lanka: Trends and differentials”" Sri Lanka Journal of Population Studies 2003 Vol 6 1 16
48. Singapore Department of Statistics Statistics on Marriages & Divorces Singapore (various years)
49. Singapore Department of Statistics Statistics on Marriages & Divorces, 2009 2010 Singapore
50. Singh Ajay Kumar , Sinha R. K. "“Growing incidence of divorce in Indian cities: A study of Mumbai”" 2005 Paper presented at the XXV International Union for the Scientific Study of Population Conference July 18–23 Tours, France
51. South Korea, Statistics Korea "“Korean Statistical Informational Service (KOISS)”" 2010 Available online:
52. Straughan Paulin Tay Marital Dissolution in Singapore: Revisiting Family Values and Ideology in Marriage 2009 Leiden Brill
53. Taiwan, Department of Household Registration Affairs, M.O.I. "“Table 8: Couples of Marriages, Divorces, Crude Marriage Rate and Crude Divorce Rate”" 2009 Government of Taiwan
54. Teerawichitchainan Bussarawan "“Modernization and divorce in Thailand: 1940s to 1970s”" Journal of Population and Social Studies 2004 Vol 13 1 15 41
55. Tey Nai Peng Jones Gavin , Hull Terence , Mohamad Maznah "“Understanding marriage and divorce trends in Peninsular Malaysia”" Changing Marriage Patterns in Southeast Asia: Economic and Socio-cultural Dimensions 2011 London Routledge
56. The Hindu "“Divorce to become easier”" 2010 11 June 2010
57. Therborn Göran Between Sex and Power: Family in the World, 1900–2000 2004 London Routledge
58. Thi Tran Minh "“Divorce in rural areas in Vietnam: Results from qualitative studies in Hanam Province”" 2010 Presented at the Workshop on Marital Dissolution in Asia May 6–7 Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
59. Tsuya Noriko O. , Mason Karen Oppenheim , Bumpass Larry L. Tsuya Noriko O. , Bumpass Larry L. "“Views of marriage among never-married young adults”" Marriage, Work and Family Life in Comparative Perspective: Japan, South Korea and the United States 2004 Honolulu University of Hawai’i Press 39 53
60. United Nations "“World Marriage Data 2008”" 2009a Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (POP/DB/Marr/Rev2008)
61. United Nations "“Demographic Yearbook 2007”" 2009b Department of Economic and Social Affairs. New York
62. Wang Qingbin "“China’s divorce trends in the transition toward a market economy”" Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 2001 Vol 35 1 173 189
63. Wang Qingbin , Zhou Qin "“China’s divorce and remarriage rates: Trends and regional disparities”" Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 2010 Vol 51 4 257 267
64. Xenos Peter , Kabamalan Midea, M. "“Emerging forms of union formation in the Philippines”" Asian Population Studies 2007 Vol 3 3 263 286
65. Xu Anqi , Zhang Jiehai , Xia Yan R. "“Impacts of parents’ divorce on Chinese children: A model with academic performance as a mediator”" Marriage and Family Review 2007 Vol 42 3 91 119
66. Yang Ching-li , Tsai Hung-Jeng Chen Ya-Chen "“Changes in fertility and marriage rates in Taiwan”" Women in Taiwan: Sociocultural Perspectives 2009 Indianapolis University of Indianapolis Press 61 82
67. Zeng Yi , Deqing Wu "“Regional analysis of divorce in China since 1980”" Demography 2000 Vol 37 2 215 219
68. Zeng Yi , Schultz T. Paul , Wang Deming D. , Gu Danan "“Association of divorce with socio-demographic covariates in China, 1955–1985: Event history analysis based on data collected in Shanghai, Hebei, and Shaanxi”" Demographic Research 2002 Vol 7 11 407 432
69. Zhang Yuanting "“Changes in marital dissolution patterns among Chinese and Chinese immigrants: An origin-destination analysis”" 2007 Dissertation, Bowling Green State University

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Asian Journal of Social Science — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation