By 2035, South Korea would have more single-living households than the traditional western societies of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia due to its demographic weakness of low birth rate and rapidly aging population, government data showed.
According to report released by Statistics Korea Thursday, the average number of people making up a household in Korea was 2.53 in 2015, higher than the average of 2.46 of the member countries of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Korea ranked 9th among OECD members on a par with the U.S. Mexico had the most populous family with 3.93, followed by Turkey (3.32) and Israel (3.32).
Single-person households made up 27.2 percent of Korean families in 2015, lower than the OECD average of 30.7%, more or less similar with Canada’s 27.6 percent as of 2011 and the U.S. of 26.7 percent in 2011. Finland had the largest proportion of single-person households with 41 percent, followed by Estonia (39.9 percent), Norway (39.6 percent) and Denmark (37.5 percent).
But the family composition would look entirely different in 2035 due to fewer births and surge in senior population.
In 2035, single-person households is estimated to make up 34.6 percent of Korean families, lower than Japan with 37.2 percent, but still higher than the U.K. (30.7 percent in 2039), Canada (30.4 percent in 2036), Australia (26.5 percent) and New Zealand (26.6 percent in 2033).
A family primarily composed of a person 65 and older will take up 39.2 percent of Korea’s total households in 2035, lower than that of Japan (40.8 percent) but higher than the U.K. (37 percent in 2039), according to the report.
By Kim Se-woong
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