SEOUL, March 29 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of deaths occurring in which the deceased has no known family or friends is steadily increasing year after year in South Korea.
Such deaths refer to those whose remain unclaimed by family or friends after their passing
Such deaths also include cases in which known family or friends refuse or avoid their claim to them due to social or economic inabilities or the severance of family relations.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of such deaths totaled 2,880 last year, up from 1,820 in 2016.
Of the total, men accounted for 2,172, far higher than women (601). By age, the elderly aged over 65 stood at 1,298, accounting for the largest share of 45.1 percent.
However, it has been noted that such a figure might be inaccurate or not representative of the real situation.
Good Nanum, a civic group that offers free funeral service for those who die with no known family, estimated that the number of such deaths stood at 665 last year in Seoul, far higher than 561, a number compiled by the ministry.
The situation is similar in other regions.
“There are no official government-level statistics. We’re now compiling the statistics by collecting data from municipal governments, but the reliability of the data is questionable.” said Park Jin-ok, managing director of the civic group.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)