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Korea Facing Demographic Onus
From Bonus to...
Korea Facing Demographic Onus
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • July 9, 2015, 07:15
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Elderly Korean men take a walk.
Elderly Korean men take a walk.

 

Korea is predicted by 2060 to rank 199th among 201 countries in the number of working age (15 to 64) citizens. At the same time, the ratio of those aged 65 or older to the entire population will skyrocket from 13.1 percent to 40.1 percent between this year and 2060, marking Korea to rank second in the world in this ratio. Experts point out that Korea should be prepared for the demographic onus that will follow today’s demographic bonus.

According to Statistics Korea data published on July 8, the ratio of the working-age population in Korea increased from 53 percent to 73.1 percent between 1966 and 2012, and is estimated to reach 63.1 percent in 2030 and 49.7 percent in 2060. At the same time, the ratio of the elderly population, which soared from 2.9 percent to 13.1 percent between 1960 and this year, is forecast to continue to increase to 24.3 percent in 2030 and 40.1 percent in 2060. Under the circumstances, Korea is likely to rank 51st this year, 15th in 2030, and second in 2060, following Qatar, when it comes to the ratio of the elderly population.

The entire population of Korea is estimated to reach 52 million in 2030 and drop to 44 million by 2060. Its total fertility rate was 1.23 between 2010 and 2014, followed by only Macao (1.07), Hong Kong (1.13), and Taiwan (1.21). Its old-age dependency ratio is predicted to go up from 17.9 to 80.6 between this year and 2060.