Posted June. 07, 2012 00:51,
The number of foreign women immigrating to Korea for marriage is likely to decrease, serving as a setback to the nation`s developing multicultural society.
According to a report by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, a considerable number of men living in rural farming areas who are past the traditional marrying age in Korea have married foreign women, and the number of young marriageable-age men is also falling due to the shrinking rural population. With young farmers moving to cities, the demand for international marriage will inevitably decline.
Another reason for the expected decline in international marriage in Korea is fewer young women in China and Vietnam. Chinese and Vietnamese women account for a large portion of those who came to Korea for marriage, and both countries are tightening regulations on overseas immigration for marriage.
Lee Sang-lim, assistant researcher at the think tank, released a report May 15 saying the number of marriages between Korean men and foreign women decreased to 22,265 last year after peaking at 30,719 in 2005. Last year`s figure represented a drop of 27.5 percent from 2005 and a fall of 15.3 percent year-on-year.
The number of marriages between Korean men living in rural areas and foreign women is declining faster. The number of men living in towns and villages decreased to 6,074 last year after peaking at 8,746 in 2006, or down 30.6 percent. The share of men in agriculture, forestry and fisheries dropped to 7.7 percent in 2010 from 15.6 percent in 2000.
Lee predicted that the number of female marriage immigrants will decline faster in the coming years due to the falling population of young farmers. His report said that in 2010, the number of Korean men between the marriageable ages of 25 to 44 years who live in rural towns and villages was 1.19 million, but will decline 10.3 percent in 2015, 17.8 percent in 2020 and 31.5 percent in 2030.