Social integration of women
The rising age at first marriage was partly explained by a common theory which holds the growing number of "parasite singles" accountable for the trend. The term refers to young working people aged between 28 and 40 years who decide to keep living comfortably in their parents’ homes in order to save money. However, an alternative explanation is the more active participation of Japanese women in society. Today, they are more educated and have more fulfilling jobs. With a rising income they are less dependent on a husband to afford housing or other things.
Delayed family planning
These developments have an effect not only on the age of marriage, but also on the mean age of childbearing, which has climbed up three years since the 1960s to around 31 years. The overall number of newly registered marriages has also declined in the past decade. The reported number of marriages was around 599 thousand in 2019, representing two consecutive years below 600 thousand.