The Rise and Rise of Single Households

      January 03, 2015 08:15

      The number of one-person households is expected to rise and eventually account for a majority in Korea as the population ages and childbirth declines.

      In 1979, the majority of households was composed of five people led by a bread-winner who was in his late 30s. Nowadays, the majority of households consists of three people with the bread-winner in his late 40s.

      In just one generation, the head of the typical household has aged 10 years while its constituents decreased by two.

      The nuclear family remains the predominant type of household accounting for 33.3 percent this year. Single-person households make up 26.5 percent, while 16.7 percent involve only couples with no kids. And 9.5 percent of households have a single parent raising kids.

      But at this rate, singles will account for 29.6 percent of all households by 2020, surpassing the nuclear family (28.4 percent). In 2032, singles will account for 33.2 percent, overtaking couples with no kids (22.3 percent).

      By then, the nuclear family will make up only 21.6 percent of all households.

      Oh Jin-ho at the Statistical Research Institute said, "Although more research is necessary, most single-person households will probably be senior citizens. The traditional family could end up becoming a minority soon."

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