South Korea ranked first in the OECD when it comes to the employment rate of those aged 70 to 74 and the relative poverty rate of South Koreans aged 65 or more is 20 percentage points higher than that of the country with the highest relative poverty rate in the EU.
According to Statistics Korea, the employment rate of the aged was 33.1% last year. During the same period, the OECD average was 15.2%. South Korea was followed by Mexico (28.3%), the United States (18.9%), Canada (12.9%), Britain (11.0%) and Germany (7.1%). When it comes to the employment rate of those aged 65 to 69, South Korea ranked second with 45.5% and Iceland ranked first with 52.3%.
In South Korea, the employment rate of the elderly is continuing to rise. That of those aged 55 to 59 jumped from 66.2% to 72.6% between 2000 and last year. During the period, the rates of those aged 60 to 64, 65 to 69, and 70 to 74 rose from 53% to 60.6%, from 42.9% to 45.5%, and from 26.6% to 33.1%, respectively. The second and third rates were higher than the highest in the EU. Statistics Korea explained that such high employment rates of South Korea are because of insufficient means of livelihood.
In 2016, the relative poverty rate of South Koreans aged 65 or more was 43.7%, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous year, vis-à-vis 50% of the median income. Meanwhile, that of Latvia, which has the highest relative poverty rate in the EU, stood at 22.0%.