Rising Number of Koreans Say “No” To Marriage

Article from Yonhap News

40% of Koreans Say It’s Okay To Not Get Married, Showing Huge Changes to Perceptions of Marriage

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More than 40% of Koreans do not think it is a big deal to not get married.

On the 21st, Statistics Korea released the results of their 2014 Social Survey, which asked women and men over the age of 13 about their views on marriage. The rate of respondents choosing “Marriage is good, but not getting married is okay too,” reached 38.9%, 5.3% higher than the results from the 2012 survey.

When broken down by gender, the “Marriage is good, but not getting married is okay too” category for males was 34.4%, and was much higher for females at 43.2%.

Comparing responses according to age group shows us that 30-somethings had the highest percentage, at 50.7%. The 60 and older age group gave this response at the lowest rate, 20.8%, showing that older generations perceive marriage as a natural life event.

The results from the 2002 survey show the “Marriage is good, but not getting married is okay too” category sitting at 27.2%. It is a much different number than now.

This percentage remained mostly unchanged until 2008, at 27.7%, but afterwards, the rate began to soar. In 2010 the response rate was 30.7%, and in 2012 was 33.6%.

Another topic, divorce, was also covered in the same survey. A considerable number of Koreans show flexibility on the matter of divorce. Nearly the same amount of Koreans [who feel marriage is unnecessary] also held neutral opinions on divorce. The 2014 survey revealed 39.9% of respondents felt that “[Divorce] is something I may or may not do.”

Comments from Naver:

Of course, in a society like this.


It’s difficult for me to live alone, but I don’t think it would get better if I got married.


You can only get married if … you have money.


It’s really so hard…


Getting married is crazy!!!!!!!!


It’s such bullshit to hear people say, “oh if you live alone, then when you’re old how will you live?” kekeke Don’t be delusional. When you’re old, 90% of your loneliness isn’t from having no kids, it’s from having no money.


Regular people live in a world that doesn’t allow them to get married, so I don’t understand why the government constantly says there’s a problem with people not getting married and having kids.


Get rid of this fantasy about marriage… If someone is lonely and then gets married, will they really stop being lonely?


I will end the lineage of pain and poverty [that I have inherited]…


Rather than getting married and making life hard for each other. I think it would be nice live comfortably and do what I want while living alone.


In Korea nowadays, the second you get married you’re digging your own grave.


It’s hard enough to make ends meet just for myself. If I started a family I couldn’t provide for, wouldn’t my family all starve?


And then the young will be the “Oh-Po” Generation. They’ll give up marriage, work, relationships, smoking, and home ownership. [See, for a more in-depth look at the cultural “giving up” phenomenon.


Would you do it? In this crazy ass country?


The funny thing is that the more money a woman makes, the more inclined she is to live the bachelorette life.


I’m okay with marriage, but when it comes to having children in this mess of a country, I have to think my life doesn’t exist and I feel sorry for the children.


When young people get a job, they still only make less than 2 million won a month. Men usually get a job at 26 years old or later. I can’t speak for the people who have rich parents and get a place from them, but for the rest of us, it’s not easy to save up jeonse for a place before turning 35. And then, unlike our parent’s generation, there’s the expectation that we should get a place separate from our parents, and have a steady job, or women won’t marry us. Having kids in this situation makes you have to make even more money. So why don’t people want to get married? If you do, it’s hard and you’ll regret it. You clearly won’t be able to. Young people finding work, the state of the national economy, an economy that revolves around large corporations – get married when the economy gives back to regular people and there is more support for raising children. Why don’t people get married? I want to, I do.


It’s hard for me to live by myself. It’s way to much to think about marriage.


When I was a teenager, you could get married and one spouse could make enough to support the family. In my 20’s, I started hearing that a double-income is basically required. Now I enter my 30’s and all I hear is that even with two incomes, it’s too hard [to support a family], so no one wants to get married. So Korea has been in retreat for over 20 years. Humans want to recreate out of a natural desire to pass down their own DNA. Korean society suppresses this instinct, and it’s quite unusual. One can’t help but ask those who led Korea for the past 20 years who is responsible.


The conditions for a society where marriage is possible are not in place.

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