Why More South Asians Are Rejecting Marriage

Though South Asians are among the most likely to be married, singles are increasingly ditching age-old expectations and rewriting what relationships and commitment can look like.

Sadaf Ahsan

September 6, 2022

Why More South Asians Are Rejecting Marriage
Love is Blind's Deepti (Netflix)

With one quick look at the recent crop of rom-coms and reality shows Netflix has to offer, you’re likely to believe that all South Asians are more than a little obsessed with marriage. Indian Matchmaking, Wedding Season, The Big Day, and Love is Blind’s Deepti and Shake give the impression that we’re all just itching to shell out thousands to get the wedding festivities rolling.

But, as it turns out, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Pew Research Center, in the U.S., more and more couples are living unpartnered. In 2019, 38% of adults between the ages of 25 to 54 were neither married nor living with a partner, which is up from 29% in 1990. 

And yes, these figures include South Asians. Though Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders tend to have the highest percentage of marriage and the lowest rate of divorce and, in 2012, among U.S. Asian groups, Indian Americans are the most likely to be married at a staggering 71%., a small but growing movement of South Asians are increasingly choosing long-term and/or live-in relationships, or straight-up singledom. They’re saying no to a tradition that no longer serves them for myriad reasons, including less eagerness to be part of a multibillion-dollar wedding industry complex, to be tied down by age-old gender dynamics, and to find financial security that they can provide themselves.