Marriages Dwindle to Record Low

  • By Yang Mo-deum

    April 08, 2016 09:47

    Marriages shrank to an all-time low in Korea last year as the eligible population dwindled and youth unemployment reached a new peak. And the average age of women marrying for the first time surpassed 30 for the first time.

    Statistics Korea data published Thursday show only 5.9 marriages for every 1,000 people in 2015, the lowest rate since statistics began in 1970. The number of marriages has been declining steadily since 2011, when it stood at 6.6 per 1,000. It peaked at 10.6 in 1980.

    Lee Ji-yeon at Statistics Korea said the main reason is that there were 200,000 fewer Koreans aged 25 to 34 last year, the prime marrying age, than the previous year. "Plus the economy slowed while youth unemployment was rising, causing people to get married later," Lee added.

    The average age Koreans tie the knot for the first time increased by 0.2 year to 32.6 for men and 30 for women. Divorces also dwindled to two per 1,000, the fewest since 1997.

    But more senior citizens are splitting up. Last year, 32,600 couples who had been living together for more than 20 years split up, up 1.4 times from 10 years ago. Some 10,400 couples who lived together for more than 30 years also divorced, up 2.2 times from a decade ago.

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