2.73 Million Koreans Are Disabled

      April 20, 2015 12:26

      There were 2.73 million disabled people in Korea as of last year, or 5.59 out of every 100 citizens. A quarter of them lived alone, according to a study by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

      The number of disabled people rose from 2.14 million in 2005 to 2.68 million in 2011.

      The ministry used data from the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, which surveyed 38,560 households across the nation.

      Four out of 10 disabled people were senior citizens and 24.3 percent lived alone. Depression often accompanies disability, with 24.5 percent suffering from the problem compared to 10.3 percent among the able-bodied.

      Suicidal tendencies are also more common, with 19.9 percent of disabled people saying they thought about killing themselves, compared to 4.2 percent among the able-bodied.

      Eight out of 10 disabled people suffered from chronic illnesses. The most common ailment was hypertension (41.1 percent), followed by arthritis (23.2 percent), diabetes (19.6 percent) and back pain (13 percent).

      The household income of disabled individuals appears to have increased a little. The average monthly wage in disabled households was W2.24 million (US$1=W1,082), up from W1.98 million in 2011. But 67 percent of all disabled households were in the low-income bracket.

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