The Korea National Statistical Office announced on August 31 that the population aged 65 and over exceeded the population aged 14 and under for the first time in history last year.
According to its announcement, the former and latter groups totaled approximately 6,775,000 and 6,768,000 as of November 1, 2016, respectively. In contrast, the respective numbers were about 6,569,000 and 6,906,000 in 2015. Between the two years, the former increased in number by around 210,000 whereas the latter fell by approximately 140,000.
This trend is faster than previously predicted by the office. In December last year, it forecast that the former would begin to exceed the latter this year.
The number of people aged 85 and over is increasing rapidly as well. Specifically, it showed a 7% increase from around 523,000 to 560,000 between 2015 and last year. Likewise, the number of people aged 100 and over increased 10.4% during the same period.
Last year, the total population of South Korea increased by approximately 200,000 from a year ago and reached about 51.27 million. The rate of increase, 0.4%, was the lowest in history. The statistical office said that a zero population growth is likely to be witnessed in 2023.