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Divorce rate still high among multicultural families: report

Nearly four out of 10 multicultural marriages break down within the first five years, a report suggested on Tuesday. According to Korean Women’s Development Institute, some 37.8 percent of the international couples studied divorced or separated within five years. However, the divorce rate last year was a drop from 53.1 percent within years in 2009, the institute said.

About one-third of married couples ended their marriages because their spouses ran away and another 30 percent because of irreconcilable differences. About 10 percent of respondents blamed the economic incompetence of their ex-spouses and five percent domestic violence.

The survey conducted at the request of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family involved 15,341 multicultural families around the country last year.

Meanwhile, the income level of multicultural families slightly improved compared to three years ago, mainly due to an increase in the employment rate. Income still remained low, however, with more than 40 percent of the families living on less than 2 million won a month, the report said. Nearly 30 percent of families had parents working as laborers, while 18.9 percent had irregular jobs.

Some 41 percent of the surveyed families said they experienced social discrimination, mostly at school. The proportion of children from multicultural families experiencing discrimination at school reached 36.5 percent, and many dropped out because of this, the report said.

“(The government) needs to implement a policy that supports children from multicultural families to improve their academic competence and build better relationship at schools,” the institute said.

Korea has a total of 266,547 households with a multicultural background consisting mostly of immigrant spouses and naturalized citizens, the report added. The families had nearly 67,000 children aged between 9 and 24.

By Cho Chung-un (
Korea Herald daum