November 17, 2022 13:17
Only half of young Koreans want to get married as the cost of settling down and raising children soars into the stratosphere and traditional attitudes fade
According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, 50 percent of young Koreans felt they needed to get married, down 1.2 percentage points from two years ago. The main reason for choosing not to marry was a lack of money ticked by 28.7 percent respondents, followed by job insecurity with 14.6 percent.
A whopping 43.2 percent said they do not mind remaining single, while 3.6 percent actively avoid tying the knot. Statistics Korea surveys public views on marriage every two years.
Perceptions of marriage differed according to age and gender. Only 29.1 percent of teenagers felt marriage is necessary, compared to a solid 71.6 percent of senior citizens. Among men, 55.8 percent of men still felt marriage is necessary, which contrasts with just 44.3 percent of women. Among singles, just 36.9 percent of men and 22.1 percent of women felt marriage is necessary.
The reasons for remaining single differed slightly between men and women. Some 35.4 percent of single men cited a lack of money, while 15.2 percent simply did not see the need, 13.4 percent cited unstable jobs and 11.3 percent said they have yet to meet the right person.
But among women, 23.3 percent of singles did not see the need, while 22 percent cited a lack of money, 12.5 percent dreaded childbirth and raising children, 11.9 percent said they have yet to meet the right person, and a substantial 11.2 percent said they are not ready to give up their freedom.
A solid majority of 65.2 percent now believe it is fine for people to live together without getting married, up a whopping 5.5 percentage points from just two years ago and over 60 percent for the first time. As recently as 2012 the proportion was less than half.
Some 34.7 percent also felt couples can have kids without getting married, up four percentage points from two years ago. Yet 65.3 percent still believe that if couples are married they should have children, down 2.7 percentage points from two years ago. The proportion was 69.6 percent among men, down 3.1 percentage points, and 61.1 percent of women, down 2.3 percentage points.
Attitudes toward divorce and remarriage are also changing. The proportion who feel that divorce is a personal choice rose 9.3 percentage points over the last eight years to almost half or 49.2 percent. In contrast, only 27.1 percent still believe that divorce is taboo, down a dramatic 17.3 percentage points over the same period. Some 67.5 percent feel remarriage is acceptable.
A persuasive seven out of 10 people believe that weddings are too extravagant. Remarkably, the higher the household income, the more people tended to feel that way.
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