SEOUL, May 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Among marriage immigrants, the majority of the Vietnamese live in the countryside, while Chinese live mostly in urban areas.
Vietnamese immigrants living in the countryside face more difficulties due to language and cultural barriers.
They are in many cases sidelined from social networks and communities, which calls for additional government measures to facilitate their integration into S. Korean society.
The Korea Rural Economic Institute reported that Vietnamese accounted for 35.3 percent of all marriage immigrants living in the countryside, followed by Chinese (17.2 percent), Korean Chinese (17.1 percent), and Filipinos (9.6 percent).
Among marriage immigrants living in urban areas, 34.7 percent were Korean Chinese, followed by Chinese (24 percent), Vietnamese (16.6 percent), Filipinos (5 percent), and those from other regions (4.9 percent).
A higher number of marriage immigrants living in urban areas were living without their spouses compared to those living in the countryside.
The study also showed that 55.1 percent of multicultural families in the countryside and 35.9 percent of those in urban areas had older husbands with an age difference of 11 years or more.
The report analyzed the level of social integration among female marriage immigrants living in the countryside by looking into their relationship with their husbands, social relationships, and access to multicultural services, which showed that Vietnamese, Chinese (excluding Korean Chinese), and Filipinos typically participate less in social activities.
“Our studies have concluded that foreign wives in the countryside, particularly those with Vietnamese nationality, were struggling from difficulties caused by language and cultural barriers, economic instability, and lack of social integration,” said the report.
“Social integration becomes less likely to succeed if the husband is considerably older than his spouse, which calls for measures that deal with ensuing economic and children’s educational problems.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)