SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Economic problems represented by unemployment, coupled with multiple structural and social issues, are socially cornering young South Koreans, resulting in cases of lonely deaths, experts said Wednesday.
Lonely death refers to a phenomenon of people with no relatives dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time. It’s also called solitary or unattended death.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, young South Koreans in their 20s and 30s accounted for 6.3 to 8.4 percent of all lonely deaths that happened between 2017 and 2021. Every year, some 200 young Koreans died alone.
The cases of lonely death among young South Koreans largely involve suicide, more than in the middle-age or senior age groups.
“Some believe that creating jobs is the panacea for all problems faced by young South Koreans. It isn’t so. The problem is actually a combination of various structural problems in society that include education, housing, economy and population,” said Kim Seok-jung, head of local trauma cleaning company.
“A delay or loss of a role in society, and the sense of relative deprivation that comes with it, becomes stronger with the socioeconomic impact, the culture of fierce competition, and social distancing in the pandemic era.”
Experts argued that young South Koreans living in isolation are more prone to the risk of lonely death as they increasingly distance themselves from “life” after failing to reconnect with society, isolated both internally and externally.
“Social isolation and lonely death among young South Koreans is an issue that requires a simultaneous approach from various parts of society in order to be solved,” said Koo Sook-ja, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)