Indonesia's Declining Marriage Rates Raise Economic Concerns

Indonesia's declining marriage and birth rates threaten its economic development goals, highlighting the need for policies to address this trend and harness the country's demographic bonus.

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Indonesia's Declining Marriage Rates Raise Economic Concerns

Indonesia's Declining Marriage Rates Raise Economic Concerns

Indonesia is experiencing a worrying trend of declining marriage rates , which experts warn could have significant implications for the country's economic development. In 2022, only 1.58 million couples tied the knot, a decrease of 128,000 from the previous year. This decline has been ongoing since 2018, when 2.01 million marriages were recorded.

While declining marriage figures are common in countries with shrinking populations, Indonesia's population is actually growing, reaching 277.5 million in 2023, up from 267 million in 2018. Sociologist Dede Oetomo attributes this trend to the increasing young population in the country.

The declining marriage rates could jeopardize Indonesia's goal of becoming a developed country by 2045, as the country's demographic bonus, a period where the working-age population outnumbers the economically dependent, is expected to peak between 2020 and 2035. To successfully transition to a high-value economy, Indonesia needs high population growth to fuel economic growth, and the declining marriage and birth rates are a cause for concern.

Why this matters: Indonesia's declining marriage rates and fertility could have significant implications for the country's economic development and its goal of becoming a developed nation by 2045. The trend highlights the need for policymakers to address the factors contributing to the decline and ensure that the country's demographic bonus is effectively harnessed for economic growth.

Indonesia has experienced a rapid decline in its population growth rate, with the total fertility rate (TFR) dropping from 4.1 children per woman in 1993 to 1.9 in 2022. The TFR is lower in urban areas (1.7) compared to rural areas (2.2), reflecting the impact of higher incomes and living costs in cities. Factors contributing to the fertility decline include improved economic well-being, delayed marriage, and increased use of modern contraceptives.

The impact of a wife's income on marital satisfaction varies in different contexts. In Indonesia, the income earner status did not significantly affect marital satisfaction, indicating that the direct effect of dual- or single-income status on satisfaction is minimal. However, in China, wives earning more than their husbands decreased the probability of happiness in households with traditional gender roles, where the husband is expected to be the breadwinner.

As Indonesia faces the challenges posed by declining marriage rates and fertility, policymakers must address the factors contributing to this trend and ensure that the country's demographic bonus is effectively harnessed for economic growth. Investments in human capital and job creation will be essential in navigating this critical period and achieving Indonesia's development goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Indonesia's marriage rates declined from 2.01M in 2018 to 1.58M in 2022.
  • Declining marriage and birth rates could hinder Indonesia's economic development goals.
  • Indonesia's total fertility rate dropped from 4.1 in 1993 to 1.9 in 2022.
  • Wife's income does not significantly affect marital satisfaction in Indonesia.
  • Policymakers must address factors behind declining marriage and fertility to harness demographic bonus.