Poverty Among Elderly Declines Slightly

  • By Hwang Ji-yoon

    March 09, 2022 13:29

    Poverty rate among the elderly in Korea, which was until recently the highest in the OECD, has fallen below 40 percent for the first time.

    According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, the relative poverty rate among people over 65 based on disposable income stood at 38.9 percent in 2020, down 2.5 percentage points from a year ago.

    The poverty rate among the elderly fell from 46.5 percent in 2011 to 41.1 percent in 2019 but still remains far higher than the OECD average of 13.5 percent.

    In the U.S. it is 23 percent, in Japan 20 percent, in France 4.4 percent and in Germany 9.1 percent.

    The decline is due to a hike in the state pension, which rose from a maximum W200,000 a month to W300,000 last year and W307,500 this year (US$1=W1,234).

    An increase in government-funded part-time jobs for senior citizens also contributed. The employment rate among the over-60s rose from 39.5 percent in 2016 to 42.4 percent in 2020.

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