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No. of Divorces Dips, But Not for Older Couples

Posted April. 22, 2008 04:05,   


Divorce posted a slight overall dip last year, but that among couples aged 55 or over rose nearly 10 percent.

The Korea National Statistical Office released data yesterday saying 124,590 couples divorced last year, down from 125,032 in 2006.

Though the divorce rate steadily increased from 1988 to break 160,000 in 2003, the number has fallen since then. This is because the number of people in the 15~49 age group with spouses declined and economic stability spread in the wake of the country’s foreign exchange and credit card crises.

Another factor in the decline was the mandatory deliberation period, when a couple must reconsider their divorce before making a final decision. The number of divorced couples out of every 100 marriages also hit a high of 1.44 in 2003, but has diminished each year since, dropping to 1.05 last year.

The number of divorces among couples married for more than 20 years, however, rose to 25,145 last year. Divorced couples in this category surpassed 20 percent of all divorces. In 1997, the divorce rate among couples married for more than 20 years was less than 10 percent.

In parallel to the increasing number of Koreans marrying foreigners, divorces involving foreign spouses jumped 40 percent from 2006 to reach 8,828 last year. Divorce in this category took up 7.1 percent of the overall figure last year, with the rise in divorce among Korean men with foreign wives conspicuous.