Taiwan last year registered the lowest number of marriages in over a decade due to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings, official data showed.

According to the Interior Ministry, the number of marriages dropped to 121,702 in 2020, the lowest figure registered with the government since 2009.

The island nation recorded 116,392 marriages in 2009, the year when the world witnessed a global financial crisis.

The ministry said uncertainties due to COVID-19 contributed to the lower marriage rate.

Those who registered for marriage last year included 2,387 same-sex couples. Taiwan, with nearly 24 million population, legalized gay marriage in 2019.

Last year, 8.7% of all registered marriages were between Taiwanese citizens and their foreign spouses, mostly from China, Vietnam, Japan, and the US.

China considers Taiwan its “breakaway province” but Taipei insists on independence since 1949.

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