Single Households Now Most Common Domestic Arrangement

  • By Shin Su-ji

    September 19, 2019 13:12

    The number of single households in Korea this year has surpassed that of families to become the most common type in a country that was only recently famous for its close-knit family structures.

    More than half of all households in Korea are expected to have no children by 2047 if the low birthrate persists, and many no longer bother getting married either.

    Statistics Korea in a projection Wednesday said the total number of households will rise from 20.1 million this year to 22.7 million by 2040 and then decline.

    But Korea's total population is expected to peak in 2028, meaning a lot of the remaining growth will be in single households.

    Average family members per household are expected to dwindle from 2.43 this year to 2.03 in 2047, and the proportion of one and two-person households is expected to rise from 57.3 to 72.3 percent. Three-person households will dwindle from 21.1 to 19.3 percent and four-person households from 16.4 to 7 percent.

    In 2017, 31.4 percent of all households in Korea consisted of couples with children, while 28.5 percent were single households and 15.8 percent two-person households. But This year single households make up nearly one-third at 29.8 percent, overtaking households of couples with children at 29.6 percent.

    As society ages, the number of elderly singles, often widowed, is expected to triple by 2047.

    There are now 1.5 million people over 65 living alone, but their number will rise to 4 million by 2047 accounting for nearly half or 48.7 percent of all households.

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