It has been found that every senior citizen aged 65 or older is supported by six working-age adults between the age of 15 and 64 in the aging society of Korea. The aging of the population is expected to accelerate until 2030, to the point of the ratio reaching one to 2.6.
According to data published by Statistics Korea, the ratio of senior citizens to the entire population was to 12.2% this year, which is the highest record in the history of the country. Although the figure is lower than those of Japan (23.0% as of 2010) and Germany (20.8%), it is close to double that of China (8.4%) and India (5.1%). The percentage stood at just 3.1% back in 1970, but is forecast to get to 37.4% in 2050.
The aged dependency ratio, which is defined as the number of retired persons divided by the number of the working-age population, is skyrocketing, too. The ratio totaled 16.7 this year and is likely to go up to 20.0 in 2018 and 57.2 in 2040. Then, Korea’s old dependency ratio will become the second-highest in the world with Japan (64.7) at the top, followed by the United States (35.0), China (36.8), France (44.2), and Germany (57.1).
The only solace is that the labor force participation rate of the aged in Korea increased by 1.2 percentage points to 30.7% year. Also, the ratio of those between the ages of 55 and 79 who are willing to have a job increased by 0.9 percentage points to 59.9% this year. The biggest reasons for them to look for a job are to earn living expenses (54.8%) and to enjoy the pleasure of working (36.9%).
Their average wage remains low though in spite of their eagerness to work. As of 2012, the average monthly wage of those aged 60 or older was just 77.7% of the overall average. By gender, that of the aged and employed men was 86.4% of the overall average while that of old working females was 53.1%.