About a third of the South Korean population will be at least 65 years old by 2030, according to estimates.
Common factors surface as South Koreans explain their reasons for opting out of dating: economic burden and attention to work or studies. Additionally, many women believe that building a family does not only incur financial but social costs in the patriarchal country — balancing work to become wives, mothers and daughters-in-law.
“Many women are aware of the unfairness they face after marriage,” a 32-year-old female freelancer in Seoul told the South China Morning Post. “These days, some women will even officially announce their plans to stay single and childless for the rest of their lives.”
To curb its problems, the South Korean government has offered to pay couples — including the richest 10% — up to $270 a month to have more children. And with regard to the concern of time in child-rearing, those with children below eight years old are now allowed to work one less hour a day.