1 in 7 Married Women Has No Children

  • By Kim Choong-ryung

    November 30, 2021 11:18

    One out of every seven married women has no children and half of them have no plans to have them either. As recently as five years ago, the figures were still one in nine and just over one-third.

    The trend is due to the high cost of raising kids, increasing number of double-income couples and changing attitudes to marriage and parenthood.

    According to the annual census released Monday, 14.5 percent of Korea's 6.06 million married women aged 15-49 had no children as of last year, and 52.8 percent of those say they have no plans to give birth.

    The number of children that women in their prime reproductive years expect to have stood at 1.68, down from 1.83 five years ago. Experts say the figure has to be at least 2.1 for a country to maintain the size of its population.

    The average marriage age of women now in their 30s is 27.8, compared to women in their 40s who got married when they were 26.8 years old and women in their 50s who wed when they were 24.5 years old.

    Overall, women got married when they were 24.6 years old, up 0.4 year from five years ago, while men tied the knot at 28.3 years of age, up a half year.

    The educational level of women is inversely proportional to the number of children they have. Women who only finished elementary school education had 3.42 kids on average, while those who left after middle school had 2.21, high school graduates 1.9 and university graduates 1.6. Women with post-graduate degrees had only 1.27 children.

    The proportion of parents who care full-time for their own kids increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, rising from 50 percent five years ago to 60 percent last year. 

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