Indonesia's marriages slide despite population boom

Experts warn of economic impact

14 Apr 2024 02:00pm
Photo for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by AFP
Photo for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by AFP

HANOI - Indonesia is witnessing a notable trend of declining marriage rates, despite the country's population growth, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported citing the latest data from the country’s statistics agency.

Last year, the number of couples getting married in Indonesia fell to 1.58 million, a decrease of 128,000 from the 1.71 million marriages recorded in 2022.

This downward trend has been consistent since 2018 when the country, which ranks as the world's fourth-most populous, saw 2.01 million marriages.

This decline in marriages occurs against the backdrop of Indonesia's population increase, from 267 million in 2018 to 277.5 million in 2023, highlighting changing attitudes towards marriage in Southeast Asia's largest nation.

Dede Oetomo, a sociologist and professor of gender studies at Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java, observes that while Indonesia’s youth population is growing, the nationwide number of marriages continues to decline.

This shift poses challenges to Indonesia’s ambition of becoming a developed country by its centennial independence anniversary in 2045.

Head of the Badan Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana Nasional (National Population and Family Planning Agency, BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, emphasises the significance of capitalising on Indonesia’s demographic bonus.

This period, peaking between 2020 and 2035, features a higher proportion of working-age individuals compared to the economically dependent, offering a pivotal opportunity for economic advancement.

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However, the declining marriage and subsequent birth rates spark concern over Indonesia's ability to transition from a low-cost to a high-value economy and avoid the middle-income trap.

This trap ensnares countries that fail to evolve their economies, partly due to not maintaining a population growth rate conducive to economic expansion, said Hasto. - BERNAMA-VNA

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