Matchmaker survey reveals changing criteria for ‘ideal’ marriage partners


Age is not as important as it used to be for single South Koreans seeking marriage partners, a survey revealed Wednesday. Rather, a person’s family background is getting more emphasis than in previous years, according to matchmaking company Duo, which carried out the nationwide survey of 1,000 single Korean men and women between the ages of 25 and 39.

Korea’s biggest matchmaking company conducted the survey Nov. 1-15, questioning 489 men and 511 women.

According to Duo’s findings, an ideal husband is 177.4 centimeters tall, with 53 million won ($47,000) in annual income and 250 million won in assets. He is three to four years older than the woman, graduated from a four-year university, and works as a public servant or at a public organization. 

An ideal wife, on the other hand, is 164 centimeters tall and has an annual income of 42 million won plus 170 million won in assets. She is three to four years younger than the man, graduated from a four-year university, and works as a public servant or at a public organization. 


While 30.7 percent of the men said they would prefer to wed a woman three to four years younger and 25.4 percent of the women said they would prefer a husband three to four years older, a significant proportion of respondents — 23.7 percent of the men and 23.1 percent of the women — said they didn’t care about age.

The percentage of female respondents who said they preferred older men showed a particularly sharp on-year drop with more women replying either that they didn’t care about age at all or that they preferred a partner of the same age. Family background rose in importance from sixth-most-important criterion to No. 4, with 8.9 percent of respondents identifying it as their top priority.

Of all the criteria that people look for in a potential mate, male respondents said they looked at personality the most (34.9 percent), followed by appearance (16.6 percent) and values (8.2 percent). Female respondents also valued personality (34.7 percent), followed by financial ability (16 percent) and family background (10.4 percent).

The men said they wanted to get married at an average age of 34.9, and the women’s ideal age for marriage was 33.7. Figures released by Statistics Korea in 2017 suggested the ideal ages for marriage were two to 3.5 years younger, 32.9 for men and 30.2 for women.

Men appeared to believe more strongly in the need for marriage, with 32.1 percent saying marriage is a must. Only 23.7 percent of women gave the same answer.

Duo has conducted surveys on marriage trends every year since 1996.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (

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