1 in 7 married women in Korea are childless

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1 in 7 married women in Korea are childless

 
One in seven married women in Korea have no children, and of them, half have no plans to give birth.  
 
These are just some of the findings detailed in a recent report published by Statistics Korea. In 2020, a total of 881,000 married women aged 15 to 49 had no children. That's up 13.2 percent, or 103,000, compared to 2015.
 
That accounted for 14.5 percent for all married women in Korea, up 3.3 percentage points compared to 2015.
 
For women 15 to 29, 47.1 percent said they have no children, while 20.3 percent of women in their 30s do not have children.
 
Of those who have no kids, 52.8 percent, or 465,000 people, said they have no plans to give birth. In 2015, only 37.2 percent said they will not have kids.
 
Statistics Korea said the Covid-19 pandemic is not a big reason for the reluctance to have children.
 
"Since we compare last year's data with data from 2015, we can't say the pandemic had no effect at all, but the influence would not be that huge," Jeong Nam-su, a Statistics Korea official, said in the report.
 
The average age for a Korean woman to get married was 24.6 last year, compared to 24.2 in 2015, according to the report. For women in their 30s, the average age for getting married was 27.8, while it was 26.8 for those in their 40s.
 
The average age for a Korean woman to give birth for the first time was 25.7 last year, compared to 25.3 in 2015. They on average have 2.07 babies, compared to 2.19 in 2015.
 
The number of children was fewer for younger women. Women aged 60 or older on average had 2.72 children, while people in their 50s had 1.87. Those in their 40s had 1.73, in their 30s 1.31, and those between 15 and 29 had 0.72.
 
The number of newborn babies is likely to decrease further, the agency suggested in the report.  
 
Married women said they are planning to have 1.68 more babies in the future, compared to 1.83 in 2015.
 
The report also said six out of 10 children 0 to 12 are taken care of by their parents during the daytime. The percentage was 50.3 in 2015. It's the highest figure in 15 years; the percentage was 65.7 percent in 2005.
 
"The Covid-19 pandemic could be the largest contributing factor why parents spend more time with their kids during daytime," Jeong added.
 

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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