|Newlyweds take a picture with their marriage certificates that they just received in front of the civil affairs bureau in Chaoyang District in Beijing on Feb 14, 2020. [For China Daily/Cao Boyuan]|
The number of couples who tied the knot last year declined 12.2 percent year-on-year to 8.13 million amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to figures released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
That is 1.13 million fewer marriages compared with a year earlier, according to the figures published late last month on the ministry's website.
The benchmark fell to its lowest level since it embarked on a downward spiral in 2013, the figures showed.
More than 633,000 of the couples married in South China's Guangdong Province, making the manufacturing hub the top contributor across the nation.
Populous Central China's Henan Province followed with about 625,000 newlyweds last year.
Sichuan, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces also made it to the top five with about 535,000, 492,000 and 487,000 new couples each, respectively.
The ministry said 3.73 million couples divorced last year, compared with 4.04 million in 2019.
With some 217,000 divorces last year, Henan Province was the top contributor to that number, followed by Sichuan, Jiangsu, Guangdong and Shandong provinces, it said.
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