May 14, 2010 11:45
Korea is expected to become one of the world's most aged societies over the next 20 years.
The OECD says by the year 2030 seniors aged 65 and older will account for over 24 percent of the nation's total population. The ratio is the fourth largest among G20 nations, following Japan, Germany and Italy.
The projection puts Korea only second to Japan in seeing the steepest rise in its elderly population.
In 1970 Korea had one of the world's lowest percentages of those over the age of 65, at 3.1 percent.
However the figure is expected to jump by more than 21 percentage points over 60 years, which is the largest increase after that of Japan. Japan will see a rise of nearly 25 percentage points in its 65-plus population during the same period.
Other G20 countries that are projected to have a more than 20 percent elderly population ratio by 2030 are France, Canada, Australia and Britain.
The OECD says Korea is anticipated to have the world's 10th largest graying population this year at 11 percent.
The government worries that the country is not yet prepared to embrace the changing demographic as it is not equipped with an advanced welfare system for the elderly.
The Finance Ministry says it plans to focus on raising the size of the working population by encouraging women to give birth and creating jobs for aged people.
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