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UN: “Korea Will Become the Oldest Nation with a Median Age of 53.9 Years”

UN: “Korea Will Become the Oldest Nation with a Median Age of 53.9 Years”

Posted February. 27, 2005 22:45,   


The United Nations has projected that Korea will become the oldest nation in the world with the highest median age by 2050. The median age is in the center on a list of ages arranged from youngest to oldest.

The median age in Korea is 35.1 years, but rapid population aging will push that number up to 53.9 years by 2050, making Korea the oldest nation in the world, according to “World Population Prospect 2004” released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on February 24.

Japan’s median age, the oldest nation in the world, now stands at 42.9 years. The average life expectancy in Japan will rise to 90 years by 2050, but its median age will become 52.9 years, which is lower than that of Korea, the UN forecasted.

The rise in the median age will not only compromise growth potential, but also force the working population to face higher tax burdens due to the rising senior population.

The UN drew up the World Population Prospect taking into consideration current birth and death rates, the spread of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), and population shifts among nations.

The UN report projected that advanced nations will see little population change by 2050, while the population of developing nations will soar from the current 5.3 billion to 7.8 billion, causing the world population to reach 9.1 billion, which is a 40 percent increase.

The report also forecasted that India would emerge as the most populous nation in the world by 2030, beating China, which shortens the current estimate by five years.

Hye-Yoon Park parkhyey@donga.com