Working-Age Population to Drop Below 20 Million

  • Arirang News

    November 20, 2009 12:08

    Korea's core productive population is expected to drop below 20 million people in 2011. According to the Bank of Korea (BOK) and Statistics Korea, the country's core working-age population, which refers to people between the ages of 25 and 49, has been decreasing every year after peaking at 20.7 million in 2007.

    The productive population was 20.4 million this year and experts forecast a drop of one percent each year through 2011. It will be the first time in 11 years that it will have plunged below 20 million.

    Those of working age represented 42.6 percent of the total population in 2007 but the figure dropped to 41.9 percent this year. The trend is expected to continue through 2011 when it will fall to 40.7 percent.

    According to experts, measures to counter the drop must be implemented as soon as possible as productive population is one of the key factors in a nation's potential growth rate, along with capital and productivity.

    BOK officials have suggested that the government counter the trend by encouraging more women to join the workforce. Economists at the Samsung Economic Research Institute say that as Korea is aging relatively faster than other economies the government should examine measures such as giving incentives to promote childbirth or using human resources from overseas.

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