One in 10 marriages last year was a cross-cultural union, either with a foreigner or with a naturalized Korean. One in 10 divorces last year was also between mixed couples.
According to figures released by Statistics Korea on Thursday, there were 35,098 cross-cultural marriages last year, making up 10.8 percent of all 326,104 marriages.
The absolute number increased by 1,236 or 3.7 percent from the previous year, but the proportion dropped 0.1 percentage point.
In the multicultural marriages, 74.6 percent of the men were Korean, 9.1 percent Chinese, 6 percent Japanese, and 4.3 percent Americans. Among women, 33.1 percent were Chinese, 27.6 percent Vietnamese, 19 percent Korean, and 5.6 percent Filipina.
The average age of the men was 36.5 years, but those aged over 40 took up 47 percent. Among women the average age was 26.2 and 46.6 percent were in their 20s.
A total of 14,319 multicultural marriages were dissolved last year, or 12.3 percent of all divorces. The proportion and number are both growing, from 10.7 percent and 12,430 in 2008. In 73.6 percent of the divorces the husband was Korean, and in 54.3 percent the women were foreigners, followed by naturalized Koreans (23.2 percent) and Koreans (21.9 percent).
The average age of men at divorce was 46.9 years and of women 37.8 years. The average duration of the marriage was 4.7 years.
Among babies born last year, 20,312 had parents from different cultures, accounting for 4.3 percent all newborns.