More women see marriage as optional, Seoul data shows

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More women see marriage as optional, Seoul data shows

Four in 10 women in Seoul consider marriage optional, data from the Seoul city government showed yesterday.

Of female residents in Seoul aged 13 or older, 39.9 percent answered that marriage is an optional decision, as opposed to their male counterparts who stopped short at 27.9 percent, according to a report titled, “Seoul’s Women in Statistics.”

The figures were based on a survey in 2012.

From the same pool, 56.3 percent of female respondents answered that marriage is compulsory, while the corresponding number for men was 68.5 percent. Those who said they refuse to get married accounted for 2.1 percent of women and 1.5 percent of men.

The results were reflected in the percentage of single women in Seoul between the ages of 25 and 39.

That figure nearly doubled from 19.7 percent in 1995 out of a sample population of 292,000 to 48.3 percent out of 632,000 in 2010.

The average age that women marry has drastically risen as well, from 25.7 two decades ago to 30.4 last year.

Data hinted that the delay in marriage was due, in part, to women’s rising educational status.

Of women aged 25 or older in Seoul, the portion of university graduates climbed from 15.1 percent in 1990 to 41.1 percent in 2010. Over the same period, the percentage of university graduates among women aged between 25 and 39 more than tripled from 20.9 percent to 70.9 percent.

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