Divorces down 2.2% to 114,300 in 2011
The number of divorces decreased 2.2 percent last year thanks to a cooling off period for those filing to legally separate.
According to Statistics Korea, Thursday, the number of divorces decreased by 2,600 last year from the year before, dropping to 114,300. The number hit a record high of 166,000 in 2003.
The number of divorces among interracial couples reached 11,500 last year, up 400 from the previous year.
“The number of married couples splitting up has declined gradually since 2008 when the government introduced a one- to three-month cooling off period,” said the agency in its annual report.
By age, the number of couples in their 50s or older getting divorced has increased since 2004. Many of them only stayed together until their children left for college
The number of marriages rose slightly last year. A total of 329,100 couples tied the knot, up 0.9 percent, or 3,000 from the previous year. The average first-marriage age was 31.9 for grooms, and 29.1 for brides, up 0.1 and 0.2 percent respectively.
The number of interracial marriages marked 29,700 last year, down 4,500 from 2010. A total of 22,300 Korean men married foreign women at the time, down 15.3 percent from the previous year, while 7,500 Korean brides wed non-Korean men in 2011, down 5.8 percent from a year ago.
Among foreign brides, Vietnamese topped the list accounting for 34.3 percent followed by Chinese and Filipinas, at 33.9 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.
Among foreign grooms who married Korean women, Chinese ranked first with 24.9 percent followed by Japanese and Americans, who accounted for 22.8 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively.