December 12, 2012 13:48
One in every four households in Korea consists of just one person, according to Statistics Korea on Tuesday. The number of single-person households now amounts to 4.54 million, or 25.3 percent of the total households.
In 2000, they made up only 15.5 percent of the total, but that had increased to 23.9 percent by 2010.
"An aging population, nuclear families and a growing tendency to defer marriage have all caused the number of single-person households to surge," a Statistics Korea spokesman said. That means the number of widows, widowers and unmarried people have all increased.
A Statistics Korea report based on the 2010 census found that single-person households are mostly composed of people who are not married, have a college degree or above, or live in rental accommodation. Those with a college degree or above accounted for 37.2 percent of all single households in 2010, up from 25.1 percent in 2000.
Unmarried people made up 44.5 percent of single households in 2010, up only slightly from 43 percent a decade ago. The proportion of married people who chose to live alone also grew only a fraction from 12 percent to 12.9 percent over the same period.
The group with the greatest increase was divorcees, which grew from 9.8 percent of single households in 2000 to 13.4 percent in 2010.
In 2000, the largest group, or 32.6 percent of single householders, lived in their own homes, but in 2010, 34.4 percent lived in rental housing.
The rise in single households is believed to have led to growing demand for rental housing and smaller homes.
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