SEOUL, June 25 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of urban dwellers seeking to resettle in farms or fishing towns has decreased over the past two years, but the new coronavirus pandemic is expected to push the figure back up as more people will search for new job opportunities, data showed Thursday.
The number of South Koreans resettling in farms or fishing villages reached 461,879 in 2019, or 329,986 households, according to the data compiled by the agricultural and oceans ministries.
It marked a drop from 347,665 and 341,221 households posted in 2017 and 2018, respectively, the data also showed.
The figure not only includes those seeking to become farmers or fishermen but also people simply seeking to enjoy a rural lifestyle.
By age group, those in their 50s accounted for around 37 percent and 35 percent of the people wishing to become farmers and fishermen, respectively.
In contrast, urban dwellers in their 30s accounted for nearly 50 percent of people wishing to just resettle to farms with jobs in other fields.
The ministry said it expects the number of people resettling in rural areas to gather ground down the road following the economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic.
The country had experienced a hike in the number of such people on the heels of the global financial crises in 1997 and 2008.
The rising number of retiring baby boomers will also help accelerate the growth, it added.