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The reason why men and women living in Seoul are late in getting married is… “high prices and high housing prices”

Statistics show that men and women living in Seoul, where housing prices are high and expensive, are delaying marriage the most.

According to Statistics Korea’s ‘2023 Marriage Statistics’ on the 20th, the average age of first marriage nationwide last year was 34.0 years for men and 31.5 years for women. Compared to a year ago, men have risen by 0.3 years and women have risen by 0.2 years.

By region, the average age of first marriage in Seoul was the highest for both men and women. For men, the age in Seoul was 34.4, 0.4 years higher than the national average. This was followed by Busan and Jeju (34.3 years each), Jeonbuk (34.1 years), Jeonnam (34.0 years), and Sejong (33.9 years). The gap between Ulsan and North Chungcheong Province (33.4 years each), which had the lowest average age of first marriage for men, and Seoul was one year.

For women, Seoul had the highest age at 32.4 years, followed by Busan (32.0 years), Sejong (31.8 years), Jeju (31.7 years), Gyeongnam (31.3 years), and Gyeongbuk (31.1 years). In particular, for women, the gap between Seoul and Chungcheongbuk-do and Jeollanam-do, where the age at first marriage was lowest (30.8 years), reached 1.6 years.

The reason that the average age of first marriage in Seoul is particularly high is interpreted to be due to the decline in real income due to the high cost of living. This means that many people delayed marriage as the amount of money available for consumption or savings decreased.

In fact, according to the ‘2023 City Cost of Living Survey’ conducted by Mercer, an international consulting firm, Seoul was selected as the 16th most expensive city among 227 cities in the world. This is a higher ranking than Tokyo, Japan, which ranked 19th.

In addition, according to ‘Korea’s Social Trends 2023’ published by Statistics Korea, the main reason why people of all ages do not get married is ‘lack of marriage funds’ (33.7%), such as wedding expenses and housing arrangements. This is a level that far exceeds other reasons such as ‘no need’ at 17.3%, ‘burden of childbirth and childcare’ at 11.0%, ‘employment status unstable’ at 10.2%, and ‘unable to meet marriage partner’ at 9.7%.

An official from the National Statistical Office said, “The age of first marriage in Seoul tends to be higher every year. Although it is not easy to explain the exact cause and effect, we suspect that it is influenced by prices and housing costs.”

Reporter Kim Jeong-hyeon Photo News 1

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