Marriages between mainlanders and Hong Kongers have brought the two sides much closer, as statistics showed that more and more Hong Kong brides are interested in finding husbands in the mainland in the last three decades due to the booming economy and comfortable living environment.[Special coverage]
The number of marriages between Hong Kong brides and the mainland grooms was 675 in 1986. The figure peaked at 7,685 in 2014 and stood at 7,136 in 2015, according to a report released by the Census and Statistics Department (CSD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in July 2016.
"More and more Hong Kong women are interested in marrying the mainland men due to the its abundant working opportunities, especially after the 2008 economic crisis which had a severe impact on the Hong Kong economy," Yuan Xin, a professor at Nankai University and expert on family planning policy, told the Global Times on Monday.
Yuan added that a decline in the Hong Kong economy also explained the decrease in the number of mainland women who have married Hong Kong men since 2008.
The number of the mainland women marrying Hong Kong men peaked at 28,145 in 2006 but declined to 16,154, the CSD report revealed.
Unlike the mainlanders who are still very traditional and pay much attention to family background, Hong Kong residents care about "Love Above All" when looking for partners, Liu Jin, chairman of Shenzhen-based matchmaking agency Golden Phoenix, told the Global Times on Monday.
"They hardly care about the other person's previous marriage or step-children and can be very devoted to the family," Liu said.
It is common for Hong Kong women to marry men from South China's Guangdong Province, which shares the same language and lifestyle, Liu Heping, a Shenzhen-based commentator, told the Global Times.
"Although my Guangzhou boyfriend and I grew up in different places, we listen to the same music, watch the same movies and receive the same messages, and we never feel any cultural difference between us," Yuqi, a Hong Kong woman who is studying in a university in Guangzhou, Guangdong, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency in a Saturday report.
Yuqi said that if she gets married with her Guangzhou boyfriend someday in the future, she would prefer to settle in Shenzhen or Guangzhou rather than go back to Hong Kong and live in "cage homes."
Liu noted that Hong Kong and the mainland could perfectly complement each other through marriages due to their opposite sex ratio.
The sex ratio in the mainland was 105.06 males for every 100 females in 2016, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Meanwhile, the sex ratio in Hong Kong was 85.02 men per 100 females in the same year, according to the data provided by the CSD.