The number of unmarried women in their 20s and 30s in Korea is growing rapidly and is contributing to the country’s low fertility rate, a report showed yesterday.
The percentage of unmarried women accounted for 59.1 percent of females aged 25 to 29 in 2005 from 39.5 percent in 2000, according to the Statistical Research Institute under the state-run National Statistical Office.
The ratio of women staying single between the ages of 30 and 34 also rose 19 percent in 2005 from 10.5 percent in 2000.
The percentage of unmarried females aged 35 to 39 also rose to 7.6 percent in 2005 from 4.1 percent in 2000, the report added. The rise in the number of unmarried women has contributed to the country’s declining birthrate. About 35,900 babies were born in July, down 5.8 percent from a year earlier, the institute said.
“This shows that the country’s low birthrate cannot be improved by raising the birthrate of married women because the percentage growth of unmarried women is growing,” SRI said.
According to the latest statistics released by the World Health Organization, Korea had an average of 1.2 babies per woman of reproductive age, the lowest among 193 countries and below the OECD average of 1.73 babies.
Experts have raised concerns that the low birth rate would make Korea the most aged country in the world. If the birthrate continues to decline, Korea’s population will start declining in 2018, and by 2050, the total population will be reduced 10 percent and four out of 10 people will be elderly, they said.
Source: The Korea Herald