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At what age do Korean get married?


In this article, we will explore the age at which Koreans generally get married. Marriage is an important milestone in many cultures and societies, and understanding the customs and traditions surrounding it can help us gain a deeper appreciation for different ways of life.

Historical context

Marriage has been an integral part of Korean society for centuries. Historically, marriages were arranged by parents or other matchmakers, and often took place when both parties were very young. This practice has largely fallen out of favor in modern times, but the cultural importance of marriage remains strong.

Cultural factors

Several cultural factors influence the age at which Koreans get married. One of the most significant is the emphasis on family and social harmony. Koreans often feel pressure to marry and have children in order to fulfill their obligations to their parents and society as a whole.

Growing trend of delayed marriage

Despite these cultural pressures, there has been a growing trend of delayed marriage in Korea in recent years. Many young Koreans are choosing to focus on their education and careers before settling down, which has led to a rise in the average age of marriage.

Gender differences

There are also significant gender differences when it comes to marriage in Korea. Historically, women were expected to marry at a younger age than men, and this expectation still persists to some extent today. However, more and more women are choosing to delay marriage and pursue their own goals before tying the knot.

The legal age of marriage

In Korea, the legal age for marriage is 18 for men and 16 for women. However, these laws are rarely enforced, and most people wait until they are older before getting married.

The average age of marriage

According to recent statistics, the average age at which Koreans get married is around 32 for men and 30 for women. This represents a significant increase from just a few decades ago, when the average age of marriage was in the mid-20s.

Regional differences

There are also regional differences when it comes to marriage in Korea. In rural areas, people tend to get married at a younger age than in urban areas. This is partly due to the fact that rural areas are more conservative and traditional than cities.

Factors that influence marriage age

Several factors can influence the age at which Koreans get married. These include education level, income, social status, and personal values. For example, people with higher levels of education and income tend to get married later than those with lower levels.

The role of dating culture

Dating culture in Korea has also undergone significant changes in recent years. More and more young Koreans are using dating apps and websites to meet potential partners, which has led to a more diverse range of relationships and a greater emphasis on personal compatibility.

Changing attitudes towards marriage

As Korean society becomes more modern and globalized, attitudes towards marriage are also changing. Many young Koreans are questioning traditional gender roles and expectations, and are seeking more egalitarian relationships that prioritize mutual respect and shared interests.

The future of marriage in Korea

As we look to the future, it is clear that marriage will continue to be an important part of Korean society. However, the age at which Koreans get married is likely to continue rising as more people choose to focus on their personal goals before settling down. Nonetheless, the cultural significance of marriage will remain strong.


In conclusion, the age at which Koreans get married is influenced by a complex set of cultural, social, and economic factors. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, understanding the customs and traditions surrounding marriage in Korea can help us gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and diversity of human experience.

How much age gap is good for marriage in Korea?

The age difference between couples is not important, as evidenced by these celebrities who found love despite their significant age gaps. In Korean culture, a 12-year age difference is significant because it means the couple is a full zodiac cycle apart.

Can Kim marry Kim in Korea?

For a long time, there was a law that prohibited individuals with the same surname and paternal ancestry from getting married. However, in 1997, the Constitutional Court of South Korea deemed the law unconstitutional, and in 2005, the civil code was amended to only prohibit marriage between individuals who are closely related.

Is marriage a big deal in Korea?

Like many traditional cultures, in traditional Korean culture, the decision for a man and a woman to marry was made by their elders. The customs and values of a family, as emphasized by Confucianism, were considered a top priority. Marriage was viewed as the most significant milestone in one’s life.

What is the age gap in South Korea?

Korean age is a method used in South Korea to determine one’s age, which is typically one or two years higher than their international age. This is because South Koreans consider the time spent in the mother’s womb as part of their age, meaning that a person is already one year old at birth. Additionally, everyone’s Korean age increases by one year on New Year’s Day.

What are the requirements to marry a Korean?

In order to legally register your marriage in Korea, you and your partner must bring a notarized copy of the Affidavit of Eligibility of Marriage, as well as other necessary documents, to your local district office known as Gu Cheong. This is a requirement mandated by the Korean government.

Who pays for Korean wedding?

In Korean weddings, it is traditional for the groom’s family to cover the expenses, including the venue, food, and other related costs. Meanwhile, the bride’s family typically pays for her wedding dress and other miscellaneous expenses.

It is also worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on marriage trends in Korea. With social distancing measures and restrictions on large gatherings, many couples have had to postpone or scale back their weddings. This has led to a temporary decline in the number of marriages in Korea.

Moreover, the rise of the “sampo generation” (meaning “three give-ups”) may also affect marriage rates in Korea. This refers to the trend of young Koreans giving up on three traditional goals: dating, marriage, and having children. The sampo generation is driven by factors such as financial insecurity, high youth unemployment rates, and a desire for personal fulfillment outside of traditional family roles.

Despite these challenges, marriage continues to be a cherished institution in Korean society. From elaborate traditional weddings to simple courthouse ceremonies, there are many ways for couples to celebrate their love and commitment. And as the country continues to evolve and change, it is likely that the age at which Koreans get married will continue to reflect these shifting cultural norms and values.

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