The composition of Seoul households is diversifying, data showed on Tuesday.
According to statistics released by Seoul City, the number of households composed of a couple with no kids quadrupled over three decades to about 420,000. The number of single-occupant households rose 10-fold to 850,000.
The city and Seoul Foundation of Women & Family conducted a survey on 3.6 million households from July on family issues and perceptions of marriage as part of efforts to improve family policy.
The number of single-parent families also increased to 350,000, showing a 2 percent rise from 1995.
People’s perceptions of marriage and divorce changed over the generations as well, especially those of women.
About 40 percent of women and 27.7 percent of men considered marriage to be not an obligation but a choice.
The number of career women also rose to 52.4 percent last year, a 2.2 percent increase from 2010.
But traditional roles in household chores seemed to maintain their hold, as women spent 193 minutes per day on average housework and child care, while men devoted only 29 minutes to the tasks.
More than 70 percent of men were satisfied with their relationship compared to 59.2 percent of women.
Meanwhile, family crises including divorce, domestic violence and runaway youths also increased.
The total number of divorces rose from 12,937 to 20,177 over 20 years. The divorce rate of those married for more than 20 years increased to 6,062, jumping sixfold from 1991. The newlywed divorce rate also rose until 2001 but gradually declined, reaching 4,538.
The city also determined that physical violence between spouses took place in 1 out of 6 households, or 16.7 percent, over the past year. This is a higher figure than in other countries such as Thailand, Turkey and Japan, which have reported figures of 13 percent, 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, 10.2 percent of teenagers said they tried to run away from home. The average age at the first runaway was 13.6.
The city said it plans to draft family policies based on the data by December.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (email@example.com