Almost half of China's women migrant workers under 30 were pregnant before marriage, a dramatic jump in the number of unwed mothers compared with only a generation ago, according to a report today.
The report on the migrant population's changing behavior in sexual and marital affairs said that nearly 43 per cent of second-generation female migrant workers got pregnant before getting married, 16 percentage points higher than their counterparts of older generations.
The report which defines migrant workers born in the 1970s and earlier as the first generation and those born later as the second generation said, the new generation marry later in life compared with their older counterparts.
Experts, citing the report released by China's National Population and Family Planning Commission, warn that increased pregnancy before marriage may result in more violations of women's rights.
It showed only about 35 per cent got married before the age of 23, 15 percentage points lower than the first generation, state-run newspaper China Daily reported.
According to the report the number of male and female migrant workers has gone up to 230 million last, an increase of 17 per cent.
The swarming of young rural workers into cities has accelerated urbanisation rate which will reach 60 per cent by 2020, with 10 to 13 million rural laborers added to the urban population annually, the report said.
Increasing numbers of younger migrant workers get married after migration, the report said, adding that more than half of those married did not wed in their home villages, unlike their older counterparts.
Jiang Yongping, a researcher at the Beijing-based Women's Studies Institute of China, attributed the changes to the fact Chinese society is now more open to sex before marriage and unwed couples living together
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