Korean women marrying Western men on the rise

Korean women who marry Western men from such countries as the United States and Australia, are on the rise.

The number of Korean women who marry Chinese and Japanese men during the last three years, has diminished whereas Korean women who marry Western men such as Americans, Canadians, Australians and British are on the rise steadily, according to the 2011 marriage statistics, announced by Statistics Korea recently.

Marriages with Chinese men have been on the decrease over the three years beginning 2009 with 2,617 cases(2009), 2,293 cases (2010), and 1,869 cases 2011. The cases of marriages with Japanese men which stood at 2,422 in 2009, fell to 1709 in 2011. However, marriages with the U.S. men have been on the rise with 1,312 cases, 1,516 cases, and 1,632 cases in the same period. Marriages with Canadian men also have been increasing with 1,312 cases, 1,516 cases, and 1,632 cases. Korean women’s marriages with Australia men also have increased with 332 cases, 403 cases and 448 cases in the same period.

The phenomenon of increasing marriages with Western men is interpreted as a result of a growing number of Western men who come to Korea in connection with their employment of multinational company or as English teachers that expand chances of getting familiar between Korean women and Western men. 

Prof. Cha Yoon-kyung, department of Education  at Hanyang University, expected that “the increasing marriages with Western men who have strong pride about their own culture will have positive effect on making the multiculturalism take a root here,” adding that past multiculturalism education in Korea remained at a level of instilling the excellency of its own culture. 

On the other hand, 7,497 pairs between Korean women and foreign men married whereas 3,146 pairs divorced last year. The divorce with Japanese men was the most with 1,466 cases, followed by China (1,139 cases), the United States (240 cases) and Pakistan (51 cases) and Bangladesh (31 cases).

Marriages with foreign men accounted for 25 percent of total intermarriages last year.


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