As the number of singles grows, so does the economy catering to them. A research institute run by mobile telecom provider KT on Sunday forecast that the market targeting singles will burgeon from W60 trillion in 2010 to W194 trillion in 2030 (US$1=W1,016).
The institute used data from the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade and predicted that the proportion of single households in Korea will rise from 15.6 percent in 2000 to 34.3 percent by 2030, and their average monthly spending will be 1.5 times more than what each person in a four-person household spends.
The main reason is the growing number of highly paid single men who tend to spend lavishly. Figures from Statistics Korea show men accounted for 42.5 percent of the population in 2000 but 46.5 percent in 2010.
Single men earn more than single women in all age groups except the 50s. Some 91,000 men in their 30s and 40s earn more than W40 million a year, three times more than the number of women in that bracket. The average monthly salary of men in the group is W4.64 million, while women make W4.27 million.
Single men spend more than individuals in multi-person households in many areas, including mobile phone and Internet usage.
The growing market has spawned many dedicated services, from laundry and cleaning for busy younger singles to health services like nursing care for the older demographic.
Kim Do-hyang at the institute said, "Singles favor buying products online, so related industries are growing."