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More S. Koreans shun marriage amid economic burden: research

Economy 15:39 November 28, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans are becoming less inclined to get married, research showed Wednesday, apparently due to the rising economic burden along with concerns over raising children.

According to the research conducted by Daumsoft Inc., which analyzed keywords used on online communities and social media from January 2016 to September 2018, many South Koreans cited money as the biggest hurdle when getting married or having children.

Daumsoft said it found out that marriage is becoming less mentioned online, with the keyword standing at 15th place in terms of social issues, which compares to the sixth place it posted in 2014.

Local Internet users mentioned "children" and "home" when discussing marriage online, expressing concern over finding houses.

"It seems that (South Koreans) consider money as the biggest issue when it comes to marriage and having children," Daumsoft said.

Reflecting such concerns, only 26,100 babies were born in September, down 4,000, or 13.3 percent, from 30,100 tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. The total marks the lowest number of newborns reported for any September since the agency started compiling related data.

Daumsoft added that finding houses and giving allowances to their parents were also among the major issues facing married couples.

Women especially expressed concern over bearing the burden of raising children without help from their spouses, as well as possible interruptions in their careers.

With finances emerging as the biggest issue, studies showed that South Koreans' expectations over their spouses' income have increased.

In 2004, South Korean females' desired annual income for their spouses was 47 million won (US$41,707), but it rose to around 50 to 60 million won in 2018. Over the cited period, males' desired annual income for wives rose to around 40 million won from the previous 35 million won.

More S. Koreans shun marriage amid economic burden: research - 1

colin@yna.co.kr
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