In numbers, Korean women now beat the men

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In numbers, Korean women now beat the men

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The ratio of Korea’s male population to its female population fell below 100 percent for the first time since censuses began, and will continue falling due to increases in women’s average life expectancy, announced the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Tuesday.

The number of women in 2016 totaled over 25.421 million, about 40,000 more than the male population, which was over 25.381 million. It’s been two years since the female population exceeded that of men.

Last year, however, the ratio of men-to-women was one-to-one, since the number of women did not exceed that of men by more than 10,000. The gender imbalance fell to 99.8 percent in 2016 and is expected to further decline to 99.4 percent in 2020 and to 98.6 percent in 2030.

“First, fewer people prefer boys over girls nowadays,” a Statistics Korea official said. “Next, the number of women who live longer than men has increased. The male population will further dwindle and the imbalance will worsen.”

Among other figures announced Tuesday, the ministry said women in their 40s accounted for 16.3 percent of the total population, followed by women in their 50s with 16.1 percent and women in 30s with 14.4 percent.

In the 50s age group, men still outnumber women, but over 60, there are more women.

The average age of women when they first get married reached 30 for the first time ever in 2015, the gender equality ministry announced. The age has increased steadily from 24.8 in 1990. In a survey conducted of people aged over 13, 52.3 percent of women said they will marry in 2014 whereas 61.5 percent of men said so. The ratio has been declining since 2008, when 61.6 percent of women said they would marry.

BY HWANG SU-YEON [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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