Unmarried People Under 35 Outnumber Married Ones

  • By Kim Sung-mo

    November 28, 2023 12:56

    More and more Koreans are getting married late or not at all. Among people in their early 30s, unmarried ones now outnumber married ones, and in the entire age group from 19 to 34, the proportion of singles exceeds 80 percent for the first time.
    Statistics Korea in a report on Monday said that the proportion of singles among young people aged 19 to 34 rose at an alarming pace from 54.5 percent to 81.5 percent over the last two decades.
    In the 30-34 age bracket, now the prime age for marriage, only 18.7 percent were unmarried in 2000 but this figure has now reached 56.3 percent.
    Only then comes a dramatic leap into wedlock, and among people aged 35 to 39 and 40 to 44, the proportion shrinks to 30.7 percent and 21 percent. But that is still much higher than two decades ago.
    That means the youth population is expected to shrink to half its current level in 30 years. According to Statistics Korea, the youth population peaked at 13.85 million in 1990 but dwindled to just 10.21 million in 2020 or 20.4 percent of the country's total population of 50.13 million. At this rate there will be only 5.21 million young people in 2050 or a mere 11 percent of the total.
    The provinces are aging even faster since young people are heavily concentrated in the capital region. In 2020, a whopping 53.8 percent of young people lived in the capital region, and the proportion living alone more than tripled over the two decades to 20.1 percent in 2020.
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