One in four singles in their 30s who have never been married in Japan said they have no desire to tie the knot, a government survey revealed Tuesday.
Their reasons include concerns over a loss of freedom and consequent housework and financial burdens, the survey said.
Conducted last December to January, the survey on marriage and income received responses from 20,000 people in their 20s to 60s.
The findings were cited in the government's white paper on gender equality, which revealed that the number of marriages in 2021 dropped to around 514,000, the lowest in the postwar period, on the basis of preliminary data.
According to the white paper approved by the Cabinet, 54.6 percent of men and 62.6 percent of women in their 30s were married.
Among singles who have never been married, 46.4 percent of both men and women in their 30s said they hope to tie the knot, while 26.5 percent of men and 25.4 percent of women want to remain single.
Among singles in their 20s, 19.3 percent of men and 14.0 percent of women said they want to stay single.
The most common reason cited by men and women in their 20s and 30s for not getting married was wanting to remain free.
By gender, more women than men said they do not want to shoulder the burden of housework, childcare and nursing care marriage often entails.
Meanwhile, more men than women cited financial inability and job insecurity as reasons for staying out of marriage.
More women than men also said they do not want to change their surnames when getting married or go through the procedures involved in doing so.
Japan's Civil Code and family register law require the use of a single surname by family members, and women take their husbands' surname when becoming married.