SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Four out of every 10 South Koreans who live alone rent their homes and spend an average of 300,000 won per month on rent. These individuals prefer ordering food for delivery and eating ready-to-eat meals that require little preparation.
According to a report titled “How Single-Person Households Spend Money Based on Gender and Age,” released by Statistics Korea in the September issue of Statistics Plus, single-person households spent an average of 1.51 million won per month last year. This amount is 49.3 percent of what households with two or more people spent, which was 3.14 million won.
The largest expenses for single-person households were prepared restaurant or delivery meals and lodging, costing them 276,000 won, followed closely by housing, water, and heating expenses at 273,000 won.
They also spent 196,000 won on groceries and non-alcoholic beverages and 177,000 won on transportation. High rent costs were a significant factor in their housing expenses, and many of these households rented their homes, as the ownership rate was low.
On the other hand, education was the category with the lowest expenditure, only accounting for 1.7 percent of their total spending, at 27,000 won. In contrast, households with two or more people spent over ten times more on education, totaling 286,000 won.
Single-person households spent more on restaurant food and lodging but less on groceries and non-alcoholic beverages, likely because they frequently ordered food for delivery instead of cooking at home. Households with more than one person had a relatively higher proportion of spending on groceries and non-alcoholic beverages.
Breaking down grocery and non-alcoholic beverage expenses, we see that single-person households spend more on processed grains, bread, rice cakes, other ready-to-eat foods, frozen meals, side dishes, kimchi, and juices and other beverages than households with two or more people. Their spending on meat, meat products, and fresh seafood was relatively low, reflecting their preference for easily prepared, ready-to-eat foods.
Spending habits also varied by gender. Male-headed households had an average monthly expenditure of 1.65 million won, which was 184,000 won more than female-headed households at 1.46 million won. Men spent the most on restaurant meals and lodging, with expenses totaling 348,000 won, while women spent the most on housing, water, and heating, amounting to 268,000 won.
Female-headed households allocated more of their budget to clothing, shoes, beauty services, medicines, and outpatient medical services, likely due to their interest in fashion and beauty, as well as a higher proportion of elderly individuals compared to male-headed households.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)