SEOUL - A growing number of South Korean women in their late twenties, considered as the ideal age for marriage, are reluctant to tie the knot, a report by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHSA) showed on Wednesday.
The unmarried rate among women aged between 25 and 29 surged to 59.1 percent in 2005 from 11.8 percent in 1975, the report said.
With the drastic growth in the number of single women in their late twenties, two out of three women hit their thirties without a spouse, it said.
Changed attitudes toward marriage are also apparent even among married women. Only 14 percent of married women saw marriage as necessary, according to the report.
The report said that 59.4 percent of singles, including both men and women, said they are not getting married because of value-related reasons, such as self-development and the pursuit of further education. Economic problems, with 31.9 percent, are the second most common reason for remaining unmarried.
South Korea in recent years has been grappling with the low birth rate. "Marriage-friendly policies along with reducing the age for first marriage should be devised," Byun Yong-chan, researcher at the KIHSA was quoted by local media as saying.