December 03, 2016 08:14
A growing number of married couples are living off their parents as jobs get sparser.
According to the Korea Institute for Vocational Evaluation, some 14 percent of married couples live with their parents and even get pocket money from them.
Traditionally, Koreans have lived with their parents until they got married. In the early 2000s, with the sharp decline of marriages, many unmarried, jobless people in their 20s and even 30s were still living with their parents, but now the trend has expanded to married couples who do not want to move out despite having their own children.
"The quality of jobs is declining more rapidly now than it did for the baby-boomer generation. Housing is not affordable, and dual-income couples face a problem when it comes to child-rearing," said Hyun Taek-soo of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.
"That has led to a unique phenomenon where the modern nuclear family is reverting to the extended family due to economic strains."
Some 37.1 percent of newlyweds who live with their parents said the reason is a lack of money to buy their own home, according to a survey by Gyeonggi Research Institute last year. Some 31.1 percent said it was because they cannot afford to take care of their children by themselves.
A 60-year-old man who lives with his son and daughter-in-law, both of whom have jobs, in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, said, "My wife is busy caring for our granddaughter and I work as a security guard. We can't even dream of a leisurely retirement."
According to Statistics Korea, the proportion of people over 65 who fend for themselves without assistance from their children increased from 51.6 percent in 2011 to 58.5 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the proportion of people depending financially on children or other relatives plunged from 39.2 percent to 28.6 percent.
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