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Study: Number of Single Mothers Increasing

Posted October. 10, 2005 03:03,   


The number of single mothers who are bringing up their children alone is surging.

This is becoming a serious social issue because most of them have economic difficulties and are being socially isolated.

Our reporting team and the Korean Single Parent Research Institute conducted research on the actual condition of 116 single-mom households living in Seoul by carrying out questionnaires, interviews, and repeated surveys side by side for the first time in the country for two months starting August.

With the help of experts, we selected 200 households which can be a standard by income, region and academic background from 25 autonomous districts, and 116 of them agreed on the publication of the outcome.

According to the results, single-mother households have two children on average and earned around 720,000 won a month. Single moms because of divorce accounted for 76.9 percent of the total, which was much higher than those who were single mothers because of separation by death (17.3 percent). Those ages 36 to 40 made up 36.2 percent, the most; those 41 to 45 made up 31.4 percent, and those aged 31 to 35 made up 16.2 percent.

Six out of 10 were getting treatment for a disease and most of them were suffering from a serious illness such as heart disease, inflammation of the stomach, inflammation of the liver, or epilepsy. A total of 35.5 percent of single moms with a job were temporary workers working over eight hours a day, and those working less than eight hours a day made up 27.6 percent of the total.

According to data from the National Statistical Office, households which consist of only a mother and children numbered 923,000 in 2000. Experts estimate that the number of single-mom households will reach 1,100,000 in 2010. Seo Young-suk, a professor of family and child welfare department at Sookmyung Women’s University pointed out that with the divorce rate rising, if single moms are left alone as they are, there could be a serious social problem. “Support from the government and social interests are direly needed,” she said.