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Income, education level increased for arranged international marriage: report

By Choi Jeong-yoon

Published : May 24, 2024 - 18:30

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Shifting trends have emerged in international marriages arranged by brokers, reflecting a rise in the educational background and income of individuals seeking foreign spouses through marriage agencies.

According to the report released by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on marriage agencies in 2023, over 50 percent of Korean users held a bachelor's degree, a 20.8 percentage point increase from a survey conducted in 2014.

The education level for foreign partners also increased, with 26 percent having graduated from university, a 14 percentage point increase during the same period.

The average monthly income of marriage broker users also increased with 63.9 percent of users earning more than 3 million won ($ 2,190), compared to 26.2 percent in the 2014 survey. The largest income bracket also increased to over 4 million won from the 2 million won range in the previous survey.

While the users of international marriage agencies in Korea were mostly aged over 40 (86.5 percent), 60.6 percent of foreign spouses were in their 20s.

The proportion of spouses aged between 19 and 24 decreased to some 37 percent from 46 percent in 2020, while those aged 35 and over increased from 6.3 percent to 17.6 percent during the same period.

By country of origin, spouses came from Vietnam (80 percent), Cambodia (11.9 percent), Uzbekistan (3.1 percent), and Thailand (2.9 percent).