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Number of marriages sinks to 12-yr low in 2015: report

All Headlines 12:00 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- The number of South Koreans getting married dropped to a 12-year low in 2015, a government report showed Thursday, partly on a steady decline in the number of people in the marriage age group.

In 2015, the number of marriages came to about 302,800, the lowest since 302,500 tallied in 2002, according to Statistics Korea.

The annual figure represents a 0.9-percent drop from a year before, with 2015 marking the fourth consecutive year the number decreased.

A drop in the number of marriages spells a problem for the country already struggling with one of the world's lowest birthrates.

The steady decline in the number of marriages has been partly attributed to the shrinking number of people in the so-called marriageable age group.

"The drop stems from a fewer number of people in the marriageable age group along with a steady drop in the number of South Koreans marrying foreign spouses," an official has said.

The number of South Koreans tying the knot with a foreign spouse came to some 21,300 in 2015, plunging 8.8 percent from the previous year and marking the fifth consecutive year of on-year decline.

With increasingly less people getting married, the average age of those getting married also continued to rise.

According to the data, the average age of South Korean men getting married for the first time reached a record high of 32.6 years in 2015, gaining 0.2 year from the previous year, with that of South Korean women also growing 0.2 year to 30 years.

It marked the first time in the country's history the average marrying age of first-time brides here breached the 30-year mark, the statistics office said.

Meanwhile, the data showed the number of divorces came to about 109,200 in 2015, down 5.5 percent from the previous year.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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