SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea is expected to see the number of single senior household heads jump in the future and exceed 1 million in about a quarter-century, a government agency said Thursday.
According to Statistics Korea, the number of unmarried household heads aged 65 and older is forecast to increase steadily to reach 52,000 this year before skyrocketing to 1.04 million in 2043.
The figure, which rose 7.6 percent to 47,000 in 2016 compared to the previous year, is projected to grow at a double-digit rate each year from 2018.
The number of unwed male household heads in the age bracket is predicted to surge 31 times from 2017 to 671,000 in 26 years, with that for women rising to 13 times to 372,000.
The statistical agency attributed the rising number of unmarried senior household heads to the country’s aging population and a growing tendency among South Koreans not to tie the knot.
South Korea remains gripped by a quickly aging population, which experts worry will likely sap the economy’s growth by cutting the labor force and add to its welfare burden.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy is projected to become an aged society in 2017, with the ratio of people aged 65 and older hitting 14 percent of its 50 million population. It is forecast to become a super-aged society in 2026, with the figure rising above 20 percent.