1 of 8 Seoul households comprised of one woman
By Kim Rahn
About one out of eight households in Seoul is comprised of one woman, and most of them are office workers who graduated from colleges, according to a Seoul City report.
The city government said Monday that Seoul has a high ratio of households of singlewomen living alone, taking up 12.6 percent of the capital’s total households.
The report was announced while the city government plans to hold an online discussion to collect public opinion on Tuesday in an effort to make a policy to support such households, the first of its kind among municipalities.
According to a survey conducted in March and April by Seoul City on 570 women between 25 and 49 years old who live alone, 92.4 percent were unmarried while 6.7 percent were divorcees. About 60 percent of singles said they didn’t marry because they haven’t met the right man, and another 27 percent said they didn’t want to marry.
Over 70 percent of them graduated from colleges, with another 15.5 percent having graduate school diplomas. Some 51 percent were office workers.
The respondents said a stable job and residence were the key to living alone, with almost 90 percent living in rented accommodation. “When asked about the difficulty of living alone, they cited unstable residence and anxiety over crime such as sexual assaults. They also said they have no one to help them in an emergency or when they were ill,” a city official said.
Such women showed higher-than-average smoking and drinking rates, at 22.7 percent and 69.6 percent, respectively. They also said they don’t get proper and timely health checkups.
“About one third of the respondents, especially those in their 20s, said their health was bad. But they were not doing anything to improve it, mainly because they didn’t have enough money,” the official said.
Reflecting these difficulties, those women said they wanted Seoul City to implement more safety measures such as expanding surveillance cameras in alleys as well as providing more medical support, including regular health checkups.