Korea's Economically Active Population Starts Dwindling

  • By Yang Mo-deum

    August 28, 2018 11:31

    Korea's economically active population declined for the first time ever last year as the proportion of senior citizens exceeded 14 percent of the total population, according to a census report released by Statistics Korea on Monday.

    As of Nov. 1 last year, Korea's total population stood at 51.42 million, up around 150,000 compared to a year earlier. But the economically active population fell by some 116,000 to 36.2 million. Some 7.11 million were over 65, accounting for 14.2 percent of the total population and outnumbering children under 14 by 484,000.

    The UN designates a society as aging if seven percent of its population are over 65 and aged at 14 percent. Korea became an aged society 17 years after it was classified as an aging society. The number of centenarians stood at 3,908, up 12.1 percent compared to 2016.

    One in three households consisted of just one person, and with the increase in singles, the total number of households surpassed the 20-million mark for the first time ever.

    By region, half of Korea's population or 25.52 million lived in the Seoul metropolitan area. The population of Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul rose by 180,000 to reach 12.85 million while Seoul's shrank by 64,000 to 9.74 million.

    The number of foreigners living in Korea rose 4.5 percent to 1.48 million, accounting for 2.9 percent of the total population. Ethnic Koreans from China made up the biggest proportion at 33.6 percent or 498,000, followed by Chinese (14.3 percent or 212,000) and Vietnamese (10 percent or 148,000).

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