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65% of Koreans say they need children after marriage

Posted March. 24, 2023 08:00,   

Updated March. 24, 2023 08:00


Last year, the percentage of people who thought they needed children after marriage was 65.3%, the lowest rate ever. Among them, the proportion of those in their 30s, the age group that reproduces and gives birth the most, has fallen the most over the past two years.

According to the "Social Indicators of Korea in 2022" released by the National Statistical Office on Thursday, 65.3% of the 36,000 people aged 13 and over nationwide responded that they needed children after marriage, down 2.7 percentage points from two years ago when the previous survey was conducted. By age group, the percentage of respondents who said they needed children was the lowest in their teens (41.1%), followed by only 44.0% and 54.7% in their 20s and 30s, respectively. Compared to two years ago, the number came down in all age groups except for teenagers, and among them, the decline (4.3 percentage points) was the largest in those in their 30s.

Half (50.0%) of the Korean population thought they should get married. By gender, 44.3% of women agreed on the need for marriage, which was lower than that of men (55.8%).

As the preference for marriage and childbirth declines and the tendency to marry later intensifies, the birth rate continues to plummet. As of 2021, the average birth age of mothers who gave birth to their first child was 32.6 years old, up 4.9 years from 2000 (27.7 years).

Last year, average assets per household were 547.72 million won and liabilities were 91.7 million won. The housing price-to-income ratio (PIR) in 2021 was 10.1 times in the metropolitan area, the highest ever. This means that in order to buy a house in the metropolitan area, you have to save up for 10 years without spending a single penny.

In terms of life satisfaction, 75.4% of the respondents answered that they were “satisfied with my life,” up 3.0 percentage points from the previous year. The National Statistical Office attributes the reason to the development of lifting social distancing measures.