China Watch Blog reports a growing number of Shanghai couples are choosing to live together before marriage, according to the results of a survey released by Fudan University on April 21.
In the poll of 2,330 people aged between 25 and 34, 43 percent of the married respondents said they had cohabited before getting wed, according to a Shanghai Daily report.
“Cohabitation no longer has the negative connotations it once had in China,” said Chen Binbin, a psychology lecturer at the university who helped to compile the study.
Almost 70 percent of the married respondents said they began living with their partners after less than a year of dating, while 82 percent said they lived together for less than a year before tying the knot.
More and more people are choosing to cohabit as they want to see what life will really be like and whether they can cope with living with someone else, Chen said.
“In China, it’s seen as a trial marriage,” he said.
Almost 95 percent of the married respondents said they were already engaged or had a clear plan to get married before moving in together.
The survey also found that people who had cohabited for more than 18 months prior to marriage were generally happier after getting wed then than those who had not had such an experience.
Of all the respondents, 44 percent were single and 1 percent were divorced. Just 8 percent of the single respondents said they had no plans to get married.
Almost 96 percent of the people polled said they hoped to have one or two babies, while 2 percent said they wanted more than three and the remainder said they didn’t want any.
The study was carried out as part of the Fudan Yangtze River Delta Social Transformation Survey, which aims to map changes in Chinese society by tracing the lives of people born in the 1980s through their education, marriages and jobs.
The 1980s generation represents a special group of people in China as they are considered to have been born and lived during a period of great social and economic change.
Academics at Fudan University hope the results of the study will be of use to future governments in developing social and economic policies.