Published : 2013-09-03 10:21
Updated : 2013-09-03 18:16
More than 1 in 5 Koreans in their early 20s may never get to meet their Mr. or Mrs. Right should the current trends continue, a study showed Tuesday.
About 24 percent of men and 19 percent of women aged 20 in 2010 were expected to remain single until 45, according to the study released by the state-funded Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.
People who remain single at the age of 45 and over are usually regarded as the non-married demographic.
The chances are extremely low for people get married after they reach the age of 45 and the biological window for women to get pregnant usually closes at that age, the report said.
“One of every 4 or 5 men and 1 of every 5 or 6 women aged 23 now are assumed to remain single until they reach 45. This indicates that even if this trend of marriage avoidance improves, it is hard to expect an increase in (the nation’s) birthrate (in the future),” said Lee Sang-rim, the lead author of the study.
The study also showed that the average age of first marriage for both men and women has risen by more than three years to around 32 and 29, respectively, in the 15 years ending last year.
Lee cautioned that the low marriage rate among young South Koreans could directly translate into low birthrates, since only 2 percent of South Korean couples have children out of wedlock.
The study also indicated that the tendency of women “giving up on marriage” when they pass their mid-30s has been growing in recent years.
Lee suggested that the government should provide more incentives to young people to get married early. Currently, many of the programs aimed at raising the nation’s birthrate are catered toward already married couples, while singles or newlyweds are often excluded from these benefits.
“To lower the age of first marriage, the government should institute reforms to change the current policies that are centered on already married couples,” the report said.
From news reports