SEOUL, May 3 (Korea Bizwire) — The proportion of marriage immigrants and naturalized South Koreans who have lived in South Korea for more than a decade has increased significantly from ten years ago.
Although these people have been living in South Korea for a long time, their social networks have been found to be lacking, with an increasing percentage of people who are lonely or have no one to help or discuss their problem with.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announced these findings in its “2018 Nationwide Survey on Multicultural Families” report.
According to the report, a total of 306,995 households are believed to be multicultural in the South Korea.
Of the total multicultural households, 85.7 percent were married immigrants’ households, including naturalized citizens with dual nationality through marriage, and 14.3 percent were other naturalized South Koreans that had obtained citizenship through means other than marriage.
The average monthly household income was 2 to 3 million won (US$1,710-2,560) for 26.1 percent of those surveyed, less than 1 to 2 million won for 22.4 percent, and between 3 and 4 million won for 20.1 percent.
The ratio of marriage immigrants and naturalized Koreans who have lived in South Korea for more than 10 years totaled 60.6 percent, up 12.7 percentage points from 47.9 percent in the 2015 survey.
On the other hand, the share of those living in South Korea for less than 10 years was down 2.8 percentage points compared to the same period.
When participants were asked if they had difficulties living in South Korea, 29.9 percent answered “no”, which was up 4.2 percentage points from 25.7 percent in the 2015 survey.
Economic difficulties (26.2 percent), language problems (22.3 percent), and cultural differences such as lifestyle and food (18.8 percent), typical indicators of the hardships immigrants experience living South Korea, were all lower than in 2015.
However, the rate of loneliness (24.1 percent) increased 5.6 percentage points from 18.5 percent in 2015, indicating that immigrants and naturalized South Koreans have difficulty forming social networks.
Among marriage immigrants and naturalized Koreans, 40.7 percent said they had no one to share leisure or hobbies with, and 38.5 percent said they had no one to ask for help when they were sick.
Furthermore, 48.5 percent said they did not have any social group they wanted to participate in, which increased by 14.6 percentage points from 2015.
According to the number of marriage immigrants and naturalized Koreans, 31.1 percent of the total were Korean-Chinese, followed by Vietnamese at 23.4 percent, Chinese at 19.3 percent and people from the Philippines at 6.2 percent.
For Vietnamese, the ratio increased by 5.4 percentage points from 18 percent in the 2015 survey, while for Chinese (excluding Korean-Chinese), the ratio of the two originals fell 1.9 percentage points, reversing for the first time.
Among the services that marriage immigrants and naturalized South Koreans expected from the government were language-related services, accounting for 43.9 percent, and children’s dual language education, accounting for 40.2 percent.
However, 8.2 percent of children experienced school violence, up from 5 percent in 2015, and 9.2 percent experienced discrimination over the past year, up from 6.9 percent in 2015.
According to an official from the ministry, marriage immigrants and naturalized South Koreans have settled in during an early adaptation phase, such as learning Korean language and adapting to living culture, but they have difficulty developing various social relationships as they enter the settlement phase.
D. M. Park (email@example.com)