One out of five people in their 20s now will end up being single for life, according to a study. Lee Sang-lim of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs in a report on Tuesday said 23.8 percent of Korean men in their 20s and 18.9 percent of women in their 20s will end up single until the age of 45 if present trends continue.
Demographers assume that if a person stays single until 45 they will never marry. Not only are chances of getting married slim after 45, most women cannot have children after that age.
The age of marriage among Koreans has risen from 28.8 in 1998 to 32.1 last year for men and from 26 to 29.4 for women.
"If the marriage rate of 2010 continues, one out of every four or five men and one out of every five or six women who are now in their 20s are expected to stay single," Lee said.
He added the trend could well lead to a further decline in the birthrate, since childbirth out of wedlock is uncommon in Korea.