SEJONG, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) – The rate of marriages of highly educated women has dropped sharply over the past 15 years amid the country’s late- and non-marriage trend, government data showed Tuesday.
Out of 1,000 women who graduated from college-level or higher educational institutions, 28.6 tied the knot in 2015, compared with 41.2 cases tallied in 2000, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The corresponding figure for high school graduates also fell to 10 from 22.9 over the 15-year period, with the total number of marriages per 1,000 people reaching 14.6 in 2015, down from 2000′s 18.9.
On the male side, the number also dropped to 15.1 from 19.8 over the cited period, while 24.5 marriages were tallied among those who have higher educational backgrounds in 2015, also down from 32.8 cases 15 years ago.
The average age of the first marriage stood at 32.6 years for men and 30.1 for women in 2015, up sharply from 29.4 and 26.7, respectively, tallied 15 years earlier, the data showed.
It is a fresh reminder of a late marriage trend in South Korea, along with the chronically low birthrate that has plagued Asia’s fourth-largest economy for years.
South Korea has been struggling to boost its birthrate, though no significant progress has been made yet, as many young people delay marriage as they cannot find decent jobs amid a prolonged economic slowdown.
Meanwhile, the statistics data also demonstrated that a female high school graduate has an average 1.02 children in her lifetime as of the end-2015, diving from 1.51 babies tallied in 2000.
It is far lower than the figure of college graduates who have 1.32 kids in 2015, down from 1.48 in 2000.
On the other hand, 1.6 children were delivered by women who finished their studies at middle school, up from 1.25 over the 15-year period.
As a result, the country’s total fertility rate — the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime — of those aged between 20 and 49 reached 1.23 in 2015, down sharply from 1.46 recorded in 2000.