Low Income, Poor Education Dim Marriage Prospects for Men

      November 19, 2016 08:36

      Men in their 20s and 30s with low levels of education or non-regular jobs have trouble finding someone who will marry them, according to a study by the Korea Labor and Society Institute.

      Only 6.9 percent of men in their 20s and 30s in the bottom 10 percent of the wage bracket are married, compared to 82.5 percent in the same age group who earn top dollar.

      A full 100 percent of men with PhDs are married, compared to 66.6 percent of Master's degree holders, 47.9 percent for university graduates and 39.6 percent of men who only have a high school diploma. The proportion falls to 35.4 percent for men who only completed middle school.

      Among men with full-time jobs, 53.1 percent are married, compared to just 28.9 percent for those in non-regular employment.

      Among women the trend is rather less marked. Women in their 20s and 30s are most likely to be married either if their earnings are in the top 10 percent or if they have not finished high school.

      The proportion of married women among those with secure full-time jobs and those in temporary employment is about the same at 37.3 percent and 39.8 percent. Among women with low income, 42.1 percent are married, six times higher than among men in the same category.

      Kim Yoo-sun at the institute who undertook the study said, "The general belief remains that men are in charge of providing for the family, while women contribute to earnings."

      The institute said if the government wants to boost the low birthrate, it should focus on creating more stable jobs rather than supporting childbirth or increasing child-rearing programs.

      The government has spent trillions of won since 2006 to support childcare, but the marriage rate keeps declining. The birthrate dropped to 1.08 in 2005 and has inched up to only 1.24.

      Kim said, "Men who have no secure job that can guarantee their family's livelihood are having a tough time finding brides, leading to low marriage rates and a low birthrate. We need to provide more stable jobs that enable young people to tie the knot and have children." 

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