Korea Now Officially an Aged Society

  • By Kim Ji-seop

    September 28, 2018 11:01

    Korea has officially become an aged society with an elderly population of more than 14 percent.

    The UN defines a country as an aging society if more than seven percent of the population are elderly, aged if more than 14 percent are over 65 and super-aged if the proportion is over 20 percent.

    Korea's population including foreign residents was 51.64 million as of July 1, according to Statistics Korea on Thursday. Some 7.38 million were over 65, accounting for 14.3 percent. The proportion was 13.9 percent last year.

    But these figures are projections based on the 2015 census, whereas Korea actually became an aged society last year. According to the 2017 population and housing census published last month, the population was in fact 49.94 million as of November last year, and 7.12 million or 14.2 percent were elderly. According to the projections, the elderly population will continue to grow and to a massive 41 percent by 2060.

    Korea also has a much higher percentage of working people over 65 than other countries. According to Statistics Korea, Korea topped the list of the OECD countries at an employment rate of 33.1 percent among people between 70 and 74 last year, compared to the average of 15.2 percent. It is 18.9 percent in the U.S., 11 percent in the U.K., and just 7.1 percent in Germany.

    Korea also ranked second at 45.5 percent after Iceland (52.3 percent) in terms of the employment rate among people between 65 and 69.

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