SEJONG, Dec. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — More than half of middle-aged South Koreans are in debt, government data showed Tuesday, in the latest sign of growing household debt in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that 55.2 percent of people, aged between 40 and 64, borrowed money from banks or other financial institutions in 2017, up 0.8 percentage point from 2016.
Their median debt amount stood at 39.11 million won (US$34,600) in 2017, compared with 36.33 million won in 2016.
For those who own homes, the median debt amount jumped to 79.41 million won in 2017, compared with 20 million won for those who do not own homes, according to the data.
The data indicate that more households took out loans to buy homes.
South Korea’s overall household debt reached a record 1,514 trillion won as of September.
Separately, the data showed that the middle-aged people accounted for 39.4 percent of South Korea’s 50 million population as of 2017. Among middle-aged people, 61.5 percent were employed as of October 2017.
The data showed that the average monthly income of 708,000 out of 1.33 million middle-aged people who were hired last year came to 2.08 million won.