South Korea’s Statistics Ministry reported that the celibacy rate hit a record high last year due to the reluctance of many young people to get married.
The ministry indicated that the proportion of single-member households was 33.4% (7.16 million people) last year, up 1.7% from 2020, when it reached 31.7% (6 .64 million people).
According to the Center for Statistics, the level of unwillingness to marry has increased by 20% since 2005, and the proportion of families consisting of one person will reach 39.6% by 2050.
Experts in South Korea attribute the causes of this phenomenon to the deteriorating economy and changing social norms.
Among single-person households, the largest percentage was young people in their 20s, reaching 19.8% last year, followed by people in their 70s with 18.1%, 30s with 17.1% and 60 years old with 16.4%.
In terms of gender, single women in their seventies account for the largest proportion among men, estimated at 27.3%, while men in their thirties account for the largest proportion among men, at 31.8%.
34.3% of the respondents motivated their unwillingness to marry by work, and 26.2% voluntarily chose to live separately.
The median annual income of single-person households was 26.91 million won ($20,378) in 2021, up 11.7 percent from 2020.