Koreans Spend More on Eating out

  • By Choi Hyung-seok

    November 18, 2019 13:20

    There has been a drop in spending on home-cooked food and children's education but an increase in healthcare and eating-out costs due to the low-birth rate and aging society.

    According to a report by KEB Hana Bank on Sunday, people have cut down on expenses on home cooking but spent more on eating out.

    Groceries took up the largest proportion or 27 percent of household expenditure in 1990, but that plummeted to 14 percent in 2018. But spending on eating out and holidays increased nearly three times from eight percent to 14 percent during the same period.

    The change seems to be related to the explosive increase in single households. With many young people delaying marriage, the proportion of singles to all households rose from 16 percent in 2000 to 29 percent in 2017.

    The proportion of education spending fell by half from 14 percent in 2009 to seven percent last year as the birthrate dwindled. Last year, the fertility rate dropped to a record 0.98.

    As a result of the aging society, the proportion of healthcare spending increased from six percent in 1990 to seven percent in 2018, most notably among the elderly.

    People over 65 account for 14 percent of the population, a bigger chunk than children under 14 with 13 percent. With Korea's aging population, the average age throughout the country rose by 10 years over the past two decades, from 32 in 1998 to 42 in 2018.

    Households' tax burden and public pension payments have also increased, rising from 20 percent in 1990 to 24 percent last year.

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