The proportion of women in public-sector jobs is fast approaching 50 percent, but only one in four doctors is female, according to Statistics Korea.
Data published Tuesday show that 57.6 percent of candidates who passed the entry-level civil service exam last year were women, exceeding 50 percent for the first time. And in the diplomatic service exam last year, a whopping 70.7 percent of passing candidates were women.
As a result the proportion of women in the entire public sector reached 44.6 percent in 2015, up from just 31.5 percent in 2000.
In the medical profession, the proportion of women is also rising slowly but still only stands at 25.1 percent. In the conservative field of traditional herbal medicine, only one in five practitioners is a woman, but among pharmacists their ratio rises to 64 percent.
As more women work in responsible jobs, fewer see the need for marriage. Last year, only 47.5 percent of women said they feel they need to marry, falling below 50 percent for the first time. Among single women, only 31 percent said they need to tie the knot.
Some 43.4 percent of single women have their own home, compared to only 22.4 percent of single men. Also, 43.2 percent of single women are over 60, whereas among men the biggest proportion who live alone are in their 30s and 40s.
A Statistics Korea official said, "As we become an aging society, women, who tend to outlive men, often end up alone."