Dual-Income Households Outnumber Single-Income Ones

      December 17, 2011 08:18

      Statistics show that many couples feel they cannot make ends meet unless they both have a job. Statistics Korea surveyed 11.62 million married couples nationwide and found that dual-income households outnumbered single-income homes by 5.07 million to 4.91 million.

      That is the clearest indication so far that the traditional division of men as breadwinners and women as homemakers is coming to an end.

      Dual-income families accounted for 43.6 percent and single-income homes for 42.3 percent of all households. Elderly couples who do not work made up 14.1 percent. The survey was the first of its kind that tracks the number of double-income families based on quarterly statistics on regional employment.

      ◆ Older Couples Lead the Way

      The survey shows that the more members a family has, the more likely both parents are to be working. Dual-income couples accounted for 38.8 percent of families of two; 43.5 percent of families of three; 47 percent of families of four; 49.2 percent of families of five; 54.3 percent of families of six; and 56.3 percent of families of more than seven.

      A Statistics Korea official said, "Many husbands and wives are working while living with elderly parents who take care of their children."

      By age group, the ratios of dual-income couples in their 40s (52.1 percent) and in their 50s (49.7 percent) were higher than those of couples in their 30s (41.1 percent) and in their 20s or younger (39.2 percent).

      "The ratio of middle-aged dual-income couples, many of whom are self-employed, is high because many of them farm or run small businesses together," the official added.

      In fact, 39.9 percent of dual-income couples work in the same industry. Their proportion was particularly high in farming, fisheries, and forestry (81.6 percent), the service sector (60.1 percent), and retail (59.6 percent).

      Of the 5.07 million dual-income families, 440,000 live apart. Nearly one out of 10 couples or 8.6 percent work in different regions and only get together on weekends.

      ◆ 20% of Women Quit Job After Marriage

      Some 1.9 million of 9.8 million married women between 15 and 54, or 19.3 percent, quit their job when they got married. By age group, those in their 30s took up the largest proportion of 1.08 million or 57 percent.

      The main reason was childbirth and child rearing. But a mere 5.5 percent or 104,000 were looking for jobs or wanted to work again.

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