SEOUL, May 10 (Korea Bizwire) – Amid a sluggish economy, the prevalence of late marriages and a growing cost of living, an increasing number of parents in South Korea are comfortable with the idea of having a ‘kangaroo family’, where parents support their children past university into employment, with four in ten parents now saying they want to assist their children even after they land a job to help them settle down more easily, a new report has found.
The report, published by the Korea Institute of Child Care & Education (KICCE) yesterday, highlighted recent changes in parenting in South Korea and revealed that the perception of the ideal length of time to support children among South Korean parents has drastically changed over the last eight years, in the wake of a growing youth unemployment rate that is delaying the age at which young people are getting married.
The figures from the report reflect the growing number of ‘kangaroo families’ in South Korea, a term given to young adults relying on handouts from their parents well into their 20s – and sometimes 30s – amid a record high youth unemployment, as it resembles how kangeroos keeps their babies in their pouch.
Compared to 2008, the figures from 2016 showed a 60 percent increase in parents who said they were willing to provide financial support for their children until they find employment, up from 14.7 percent to 23.6 percent, while the figures for those who said they would support their children until marriage also went up to 12 percent from 10.2 percent over the same period.
In the meantime, the number of parents who were willing to support their children until they graduate from university dropped by more than 10 percent, from 62.7 percent to 49.2 percent.
Researchers said, “Fewer parents now believe it is sufficient to support their children until they graduate university, with only 59.1 percent sharing this view compared to 73.8 percent in 2008.
“As those who think it’s necessary to provide financial support for their children even after they find employment for further financial security increased from 26.1 percent to 40.9 percent, more South Korean parents feel a responsibility to help out their children for a longer period of time compared to eight years ago.”
Given the trend of late marriage, which is seeing more young people live with their parents for a longer period of time, researchers say economic dependence on parents among young people is expected to accelerate for the foreseeable future.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)