SEJONG, June 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of one-person families continued to rise in South Korea last year amid the fast-spreading trend of people remaining single, government data showed Wednesday.
Households consisting of a single member totaled 5.28 million in 2016, up 3.3 percent, or 169,000, from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
This accounted for 27.8 percent of all household types in the country, edging up 0.6 percentage point from a year earlier.
The percentage of those living alone has been on a sharp rise for decades, hitting the 20 percent mark in 2005 for the first time. It was 4.8 percent in 1980.
It became the most common household type in South Korea, making up 27.2 percent in 2015, followed by 26.1 percent for two-person families and 21.5 percent of homes with three people. The traditional four-member families placed fourth at 18.8 percent.
The latest 2016 data showed that 56.5 percent of all people living alone are women, outnumbering 43.5 percent for men.
Out of 2.9 million single households who are employed, 22.6 percent are in the 30-to-39 age group and 22.2 percent are those aged 60 and over.
The rise in the number of one-person households is closely related with a non- and late-marriage trend in South Korea.
The number of marriages in South Korea fell to the lowest level in more than 40 years in 2016, as young people delay marriage amid a prolonged economic slowdown.
Moreover, the average age of first-time brides and grooms reached a record 30.1 years and 32.8 years, respectively, last year.