Half of South Korean Single Women Say Marriage is Unnecessary

David Lee, July 10, 2016, 2:18 p.m.


More than half of single South Korean women see marriage as an option, rather than a necessity, a poll showed Sunday. According to the poll on 1,287 single women and 1,096 single men aged between 20 and 44 conducted by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, 52.4 percent of the female respondents said marriage is not a necessity and they are fine with not being married.

It compares to 60.9 percent of their male counterparts who say they would walk down the aisle one day and 18.1 percent who think marriage is a must, the poll showed. The poll also suggested that 25.9 percent of female respondents say that they are fine with not having children, while 39.9 percent of the male respondents say children are a necessity.

The results suggest a sharp change in the mindsets of South Koreans, especially among women who used to get married and stay at home under a traditional custom that remained even up until a few decades ago. A recent sharp increase in the number of women receiving higher education and finding stable employment has driven up their sense of independence, giving them more freedom to marry or not. The average age at which women first get married stood at 34 between 2014 and 2016, increasing from 30.3 registered in 2006, according to data released earlier.

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