Majority of S. Koreans born in 1988 are unmarried: report

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : December 29, 2023, 16:21 Updated : January 4, 2024, 15:43
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[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Among some 633,000 South Koreans born in 1988, only 49.2 percent tied the knot with their partners, data released by South Korea's statistical information service showed. Among married individuals born in 1988, three out of ten couples do not have a child. Those born in 1988 are currently 34 or 35 years old. 

Many young South Koreans are less interested in marriage due to costly expenses and unstable employment. In 2022, around 191,700 South Korean couples got married, marking the lowest figure since 1970. The government has spent an enormous amount of money to tackle its aging population and low birth rate. Various government incentives including cash rewards have been offered to have more children, but many women are working and they wish to continue their career without interruption by giving birth. 

According to data released by Statistics Korea on December 28, 50.8 percent of people born in 1988 were unmarried. Among them, 59.9 percent were men and 40.5 percent were women. Out of 49.2 percent of married couples, only 72.8 percent gave birth. The homeownership rate of people born in 1988 was 22 percent and 28.1 were unemployed. 

In a 2022 survey of some 36,000 people aged more than 12, conducted by Statistics Korea, 50 percent said that marriage is necessary, down 1.2 percent from two years ago. 43.2 percent answered that being married or not married does not matter, and 3.6 percent said they would not get married.
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