December 18, 2012 13:48
One in every three babies born to multicultural families had a Vietnamese mother in 2011, according to Statistics Korea. Out of 22,000 mixed-race newborns, the largest proportion or 35.8 percent (7,880) were born to Vietnamese mothers last year.
Chinese mothers came second at 26.4 percent, followed by Filipina (8.1 percent), Cambodian (5.3 percent), Japanese (3.7 percent) and Mongolian (1.3 percent.)
Overall, a total of 471,000 babies were born in Korea last year, and those with Vietnamese mothers accounted for 1.7 percent.
Out of all 168,000 mixed-race children in the country, those with Chinese or Korean-Chinese mothers still ranked first with 72,509, followed by 41,238 with Vietnamese.
But Vietnamese women are fast catching up with Chinese mothers, partly because the number of Vietnamese mail-order brides has soared since the mid-2000s.
According to a recent survey by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, the 29,088 children under six years of age took up 86 percent of all 34,256 children with Vietnamese mothers last year.
Lee Sang-lim of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs said Vietnamese brides are typically in their early 20s who are married for the first time and stand a high chance of getting pregnant. He added they are also more likely to have more children because most of them live in rural regions where childbirth is more encouraged.
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