Upward social mobility is becoming an ever more distant dream for the poorer classes in Korea.
The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs last week released an in-depth analysis of income data and found that the proportion of households who make their way out of poverty is dwindling.
The institute tracked the income of 5,637 households nationwide from 2005 to 2009. Based on disposable income, the proportion of people who made it out of poverty shrank from 35.4 percent in 2005-6 to 31.3 percent in 2008-9.
Nam Sang-ho at the institute said the finding means that poverty "is increasingly self-perpetuating."
The institute followed the OECD index by including households with less than 50 percent of the median income of the total population.