Drop in eligible bachelors reported
The number of bachelors in Hong Kong has dropped by 2.6 percentage points in the past decade while the proportion of unmarried women rose by one point, according to the Census.
In 1991 about 36.5 per cent of men above 15 were unmarried - this dropped to 34.2 per cent in 1996, and 33.9 per cent, or about 1.11 million, this year.
Among women, the proportion was about 29 per cent in 1991 and 1996, rising to 30.1 per cent this year.
The summary results also showed that the sex ratio dropped from 1,038 males per 1,000 females in 1991 to 960 in 2001.
This meant that women now had a narrower choice when it came to finding a husband, the Census and Statistics Department said.
Sze Lai-shan, of the Society for Community Organisation, attributed the decline in the proportion of bachelors to the rising trend of cross-border marriages.
'In the past, most men looking for mainland wives were from grassroots backgrounds,' she said. 'In light of closer cross-border economic links, lots of male managerial staff working on the mainland also marry women there.'
She said many men with university qualifications had now established families on the mainland.
A spokesman for the Immigration Department said about 132,000 men had obtained Certificates of Absence of Marriage Records between 1996 and last year, with a peak of 37,221 cases in 1997.
The certificates are essential for marriage registrations on the mainland.