Divorce rate in South Korea 2008-2019

The divorce rate in South Korea in 2019 was 2.2 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants, slightly higher than the value of 2.1 that held true for several years. While the marriage rate in the country is decreasing every year, the divorce rate does not show any signs of decrease. This reflects a change in the country’s social norms; as the stigma attached to leaving a marriage becomes less significant, more people are deciding to get a divorce if they are unhappy in their marriage.

Happily ever after?

The main reasons for divorce in the country have changed over the years, but include factors such as domestic abuse, financial instability, infidelity and basic unhappiness. While the divorce rate has increased, the actual number of divorcees in the country has decreased and stood at just over one hundred thousand people in 2017.

Decline in weddings

Just as it has become more acceptable to leave a marriage, the number of marriages has also declined across the country. Over the past five years, the marriage number has steadily decreased as South Koreans now are not placing such a high importance on marriage as with previous generations. A major factor stopping Koreans from getting married is concern about childbirth and childcare, with many believing they are not financially secure enough. In fact, many young people do not have any plans to marry at all.

Crude divorce rate in South Korea from 2008 to 2019 (per 1,000 inhabitants)*

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Release date

March 2020


South Korea

Survey time period

2008 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*Crude divorce rate is the ratio of the number of divorces during the year to the average population in that year. The value is expressed per 1,000 inhabitants.

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Statistics on "Demographics of South Korea"

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