July 09, 2020 12:39
Korea's population is dwindling and the rise of a society of childless singles seems to be unstoppable, boding ill for the future.
According to a report released by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on Wednesday, Korea had 51.84 million registered residents as of June, down 10,453 people from a year earlier.
Of the 22.79 million households, a whopping 8.77 million or 38.5 percent were singles. That means there are now more single than two-person households (23.1 percent), three-person households (17.6 percent), and four-person households (15.8 percent).
Households of five people or more, once the norm for extended families, took up a mere five percent. And because there are so many singles, the total number of registered households increased by 310,065 over the past year even as the population shrank.
The population stood at 51.85 million early this year but dwindled by 1,000 to 2,000 every month. By contrast, the number of single households increased by 40,000 to 60,000 per month.
More men than women live alone with 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, though the proportion is reversed among the over-60s because men have a shorter life expectancy.
Most single householders are still elderly, with the over-70s elderly topping the list at 19.1 percent, followed by those in their 50s (18.1 percent) and those in their 60s (16.9 percent). But the proportion of younger singles is growing.
South Jeolla Province had the biggest proportion of single households with 44.1 percent and the administrative city of Sejong the lowest with 32.4 percent.
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