Wealth Gap Among Young Koreans Widens

  • By Kim Choong-ryung

    October 12, 2021 09:51

    The wealth gap among young Koreans is widening at an alarming rate as some greedily snap up stocks and real estate while others lose hope of ever owning a home.

    According to Statistics Korea data on Monday, Koreans in their 20s and 30s owned an average W318.5 million worth of assets last year, up W22 million compared to the previous year (US$1=W1,192). But the gap in assets between the top 20 percent and the bottom 20 percent is growing sharply.

    The assets of the bottom 20 percent grew only 2.6 percent to W24.7 million, while those of the top 20 percent grew 8.8 percent to W870 million. That increased the gap to a whopping 35.2 times, up from 33.2 times the previous year.

    Inequality is even more marked among 20-somethings than 30-somethings.

    Among the poorest 20 percent in their 20s, assets dwindled 11.1 percent to an average just W8.44 million, while those of the top 20 percent grew 2.5 percent to W328.6 million. That is a difference of 38.92 times, compared to 23.83 times among those in their 30s.

    But the income gap is not as wide as the difference in assets. In other words, much depends on what their parents can give them.

    The average income of the top 20 percent of 20-somethings was W52.6 million while those in the bottom 20 percent earned W21.5 million, a difference of 2.45 times. 

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