Every Region of Korea Now Aging

  • By Kim Jung-hoon, Kim Choong-ryung

    July 30, 2021 09:55

    There is now no part of Korea that is not officially an aging society with people over 65 making up more than seven percent of the population, last year's census shows.

    In the previous census, one out of some 250 municipalities in Korea still held out with an elderly population below seven percent -- Yeongtong District in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province where Samsung Electronics has its main plant. But now that too has fallen.

    Only 42 municipalities have a higher population of children and adolescents than of elderly people, and 110 have become a "super-aged" society with an elderly population of more than 20 percent.

    The overall elderly population reached 8.21 million last year, up 460,000 and crossing the 8 million mark for the first time. But the population of children and adolescents stands at just 6.18 million, or 12.3 percent of the total population. The younger population peaked at 21 percent in 2000.

    The pace of aging will likely pick up even more in the next decade as the baby boomer generation born between 1955 and 1963 crosses the threshold into old age. That means the economically active population will shrink. The working-age population aged 15-64 has already dropped to 71.3 percent.

    However, the total population increased by 50,000 or 0.1 percent. The Korean-born population increased by 130,000 or 0.3 percent while the foreign-born population shrank by 80,000 or 4.7 percent as the coronavirus pandemic kept migrants away.

    Many more Koreans live alone. The total number of households increased by 590,000 or 2.8 percent to 21.48 million as single and two-person households accounted for a whopping 60 percent of all households.

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