SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Nearly 57 percent of South Koreans continue to live with their parents after growing into young adulthood, according to a new study.
Findings from a study cited by senior researcher Oh Ho-young at the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) during the Korea Labor Institute’s symposium on Friday revealed 56.8 percent of South Korean young adults fall under the category of the so-called kangaroo tribe, a term used to refer to young people with parents who continue to support their children past university and into employment.
The data from the survey, which was conducted by the Korean Labor & Income Panel on a sample of over 6.3 million young South Korean adults, also showed those aged between 20 and 34 who are considered part of the kangaroo tribe trail behind others in similar age groups in the economic dynamism index as well as the social confidence index.
“The kangaroo tribe has slower economic activity and holds a more negative perception of South Korean society. We need to increase employment opportunities to help them become more independent,” Oh said.
Currently, the number of NEETS in South Korea, who are in neither employment, education, nor training, is estimated to be 1.56 million, accounting for nearly 16.6 percent of all South Koreans aged between 15 and 29.
The figure, which is in line with OECD statistics according to 2016 data put forward by senior researcher Kim Ki-hun at the National Youth Policy Institute, which estimated 18.9 percent of young South Koreans to be NEETs, 5 percent higher than the average figure of 13.9 percent.
Kim Ji-gyeong, a senior researcher at the National Youth Policy Institute, says the negative view towards society prevalent among young people comes down to pressing social issues such as a lack of affordable housing and low birthrates due to a difficult environment for child bearing and upbringing.
“Young Koreans believe that without achieving stable housing, the issue of low birth rates won’t be solved,” Kim said.
Kim also added that instead of placing too much emphasis on employment policy, the government needs to pay attention to housing issues when crafting policy for young people.
Compared to 2008, the number of parents who are willing to provide financial support to their children until they find employment increased drastically in 2016, according to a report published by the Korea Institute of Child Care & Education (KICCE) earlier this year.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)