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Most Foreign Brides in South Korea in 2016 Were Vietnamese Women

A new study by South Korea's national statistics organization has shown that Vietnamese women are now the largest group of foreign brides in the East Asian nation.

VnExpress reports that recent figures from Statistics Korea show that Vietnamese women made up 28% of foreign brides in Korea last year, followed by Chinese women at 27% and Filipino women at 4.3%. This is the first time that Vietnam has accounted for the most foreign brides in a year in Korea.

Overall, the numbers cover 21,709 multicultural marriages in 2016, a 3.4% drop from 2015. Vietnamese women made up 6,054 of these marriages, while 5,838 included a Chinese woman and a Korean man.

The Chosun Ilbo, a major Korean paper, put the growth in Vietnamese women marrying Korean men down to a desire for a better economic situation than can be found at home, along with the popularity of K-pop and Korean soap operas in Vietnam.

Statistics Korea told the news source: "Favorable impressions of Korea lead to Vietnamese women applying for jobs in Korean companies and coming to study in Korea."

The newspaper also reports that Vietnamese women are desired by Korean men thanks to the Southeast Asian country's Confucian tradition. An unnamed marriage broker in Korea said: "These days, eight or nine out of every 10 phone calls we get ask about Vietnamese brides. Vietnamese women are popular because they're hard-working and willing to support their parents-in-law."

These marriages don't always work out well for the couples, however, VnExpress reported in another article earlier this year that roughly 40% of Vietnamese-Korean marriages end in divorce within five years.

[Photo via Free Malaysia Today]

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