Do Arranged Marriages Still Happen In 2019?

Here’s all you need to know about arranged marriages and its place in this day and age.
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What Is Arranged Marriage?

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An arranged marriage can be described as a marriage wherein a person’s bride or groom is purposefully selected by a third-party, most often by elder family members like parents and grandparents. Oftentimes a professional matchmaker is involved in the selection process. Some arranged marriages can be planned even while the bride and groom are still infants.

The purpose of arranged marriages is for families to be selective of who their children marry as a way to control familial relations and extensions. Some arranged marriages are also seen as some symbolic step in cementing mergers and partnerships in politics, business, wealth, and even status. Arranged marriages are also a way for families to maintain or elevate social class and maintain reputations.

A bridge and groom holding hands on a sunny day
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Is An Arranged Marriage Considered A Forced Marriage?

An arranged marriage is not the exact same thing as a forced marriage. In an arranged marriage, either the husband or wife or their families have some level of choice in whom they choose to marry and whether they accept or decline marriage offers. Whereas a forced marriage is a marriage that occurs entirely against the bride or groom’s wishes. 

Even in 2019, forced marriages are still being done in communities in South Asia and Africa. This includes child marriages, some of which are done by families selling their children off to the highest bidder.

Figurines on top of a wedding cake
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What Are The Statistics On Arranged Marriages?

From a 2017 statistic, you might be shocked to know that 55% of marriages worldwide are in fact arranged marriages. In India alone, arranged marriages make up 90% of all marital unions with a divorce rate of just 1.1%.

On average, arranged marriages around the world have a divorce rate of a mere 6.3%. Despite that number, this doesn’t conclude that all arranged marriages are in fact happy marriages. Many cultures that practice arranged marriages don’t support divorce, hence altering these statistics. 

Concerning age, 48% of girls are still under the age of 18 when they are being selected for marriage. These girls are usually married to have husbands, on average, 4.5 years older in age.

A bride with henna tattoo on her arm and hand
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Is There Success In An Arranged Marriage?

If you’re basing this answer off of statistics, the answer would be yes, definitely. With the help and consultation of a professional matchmaker, an arranged marriage has the potential to be successful. 

Although, it depends on what you mean by successful. An arranged marriage can be considered successful in terms of each family being content because they’ve approved of who their children marry. But that may not reflect the satisfaction of the husband and wife. 

A Japanese woman in a kimono holding a guy's hand
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Which Countries Still Practice Arranged Marriages?

Today, the most prominent ‘arranged marriage countries’ are: 

  • India 
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • Japan 
  • Israel 
  • Afghanistan 
  • Iran 
  • Iraq

Do Arranged Marriages Happen In Australia?

Yes, it does happen! Albeit not frequently.

It’s pretty uncommon in Australian culture to hear any positive arranged marriage stories. BUT, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are many Australians who live in happy arranged marriages. Sometimes it’s just a matter of luck, and sometimes hard work can create love in the most unlikely of places!

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