April 20, 2012 12:13
A growing number of women are marrying younger men, according to figures released on Thursday. Statistics Korea data on marriage and divorce in 2011 show that the proportion of such couples among people who tied the knot last year rose to 15.3 percent, a huge leap from 11.3 percent 10 years ago.
Statistics Korea said the biggest reason for the jump is the increase in the number of working women who postpone marriage. Government figures show that the average marrying age of women is 29.1 years, 2.3 years older than 10 years ago.
Men's attitudes toward older women have also changed. Jeon Sun-ae at matchmaking firm Sunoo said, "We get a lot of men, especially in their late 20s, who are looking for older women who tend to be more understanding and mature, rather than younger women who are dependent on them."
Meanwhile, the data also show a marked drop in mixed-race marriages. A total of 29,762 marriages last year involved a foreign spouse, down 13.1 percent from 2010 and the first time in eight years that there were fewer than 30,000.
Matchmaking firms say the decline stems from a drop in the number of single men in rural communities because many of them have already found brides overseas, plus tighter laws governing international marriage brokers.
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