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Number of Divorce Cases Drop For First Time In 16 Years

Posted March. 30, 2005 23:12,   


South Korea saw its number of divorces drop last year for the first time since 1988, a span of 16 years.

The number of marriages rose for the first time in eight years, supported by a growing number of international marriages and remarriages. Last year, more than one out of 10 marriages was an international marriage (11.4 percent).

A statistical study on divorced couples in 1994 released on Wednesday by the Korea National Statistical Office (NSO) says last year, the number of divorced couples was 139,365, down from 167,096 in 2003 (16.6 percent, or 27,731). In other words, about 381 couples divorced every day last year. This is the first drop (-0.6 percent) since 1998.

Of the total number of divorce cases last year, 18.3 percent were couples with more than 20 years of marriage, a remarkable increase from 7.2 percent in 1994.

Meanwhile, the proportion of divorced couples with less than four years of marriage fell to 25.2 percent from 33.7 percent over a year ago, indicating that young married couples are less impulsive about filling for divorce.

Neither the NSO nor experts have suggested a clear explanation for the drop in the divorce cases

“Advanced nations saw their increasing divorce rate stop at a certain level as well during the 1980s,” said official Jung Chang-shin, manager of Population Analysis Team of the NSO.

Byong-Ki Lee eye@donga.com