Statistics Korea: Nearly 50% of Korean men aged 25 to 49 are still unmarried

On July 11, the Korean Statistical Office released “Low Birth Rate and Changes in Korean Society”. According to the data, nearly 50% of men aged 25 to 49 in South Korea have no marriage history, and one in three women is unmarried.

According to Yonhap News Agency, data show that the number of marriages in South Korea last year was 192,000, a decrease of 103,000 from 295,000 in 1970. The crude marriage rate (the number of marriages per 1,000 people) dropped from 5.5‰ in 1970 to 3.7‰ last year. The average age of first marriage for Korean men is 33.7 years and for women is 31.3 years. The gap between the two is 2.5 years, narrowing slightly compared to 2012 (2.7 years).

At the same time, the proportion of single men and women in South Korea is increasing rapidly. The unmarried rate among men aged 25 to 49 continued to increase, rising to 35.3% in 2010, 40.2% in 2015, and 47.1% in 2020. The proportion of unmarried women has also continued to increase, reaching 22.6% in 2010, 27.1% in 2015, and 32.9% in 2020.

As the number of registered marriages in South Korea has declined, the number of newborns has naturally declined. The number of newborns last year was 249,000, only half of that in 2012 (485,000). The total fertility rate dropped from 1.3 in 2012 to 0.78 last year. Among married women aged 15 to 49, 12.5% plan to have a baby.

It is worth noting that the participation rate of Korean women in economic production activities has continued to rise from 48.8% in 2000 to 54.6% last year. The employment rate has also been on the rise over the same period, rising to 60% last year. Among married women aged 15 to 54, 17.2% of them interrupted their careers, and the reasons were mostly child rearing (42.7%), marriage (26.3%), pregnancy and childbirth (22.8%), etc.

Statistics Korea predicts that South Korea’s population will gradually decrease after peaking in 2020, falling below 50 million in 2041. The proportion of the elderly population is expected to increase from the current 18.4% to 34.4%. Following this trend, the population of South Korea will decrease to 38 million by 2070, and the proportion of the elderly population will increase to 46.4%, which is higher than the labor force population (46.1%).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *