[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
South Korean population officially has thinned for the first time last year since government founding, with faster-than-expected accelerating in aging to turn the country “super-aged” from 2024, data showed.
According to the data by Statistics Korea, the number of people aged 65 and older in South Korea stood at 8,707,000 in 2021, or 16.8 percent of its total population, up from 16.0 percent from 2020 and 15.1 percent from 2019, whereas the number of working-age population has been decreasing at a fast rate.
If this trend continues, South Korea is very likely to enter a super-aged society in 2024 or 2025, with the portion of elderly people taking up 20 percent or more of total population.
It would be migrating to a super-aged society if it joins the category in 2024 fastest in the world after being defined as an aged society in 2018.
In another alarming sign on the demographic front, the country’s population count fell to 51,738,000 in 2021 from 51,829,000 in 2020, marking the first natural fall in population in 72 years since the agency started compiling related data.
The number of working-age population aged 15 to 64 stood at 36,940,000 last year, or 71.4 percent of total population.
By Lee Jong-hyuk and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]