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30-Something Couples Gaining in Economic Power

Posted September. 01, 2008 04:07,   


The income levels of spouses in households headed by couples in their 30s last year surpassed that of those in their 40s and 50s for the first time, as more young women were in high-paying jobs at conglomerates, financial institutions and other companies.

A report released by the National Statistical Office yesterday said the average earned income of a head of household in his or her thirties -- mostly women -- was 476,152 won in the second quarter, higher than 418,511 won for those in their 40s and 268,754 won for those in their 50s.

This trend has continued since the first quarter last year.

Since 2003, married couples in their 30s have outperformed those in their 40s and 50s in the combined monthly average of their earned incomes, which is supposedly because the proportion of double-income households is higher among those in their 30s.

In the second quarter this year, the combined monthly average of a couple`s earned income was 2,469,268 won for 30-something households, far head of those in their 40s (2,187,280 won) and those in their 50s (1,605,295 won).

With the income of dual-income households increasing, 30-something households were spending as much as those in their 40s and 50s did. In the second quarter, the monthly average expenditure after tax for 30-something households was 2,368,832 won, compared to 2,434,745 won for those in their 40s and 2,313,800 won for those in their 50s.

As more husbands and their wives in their 30s each worked, their spending on cleaning, cooking and other household services were greater than those for couples in their 40s and 50s. In 40-something households where most of whose children were middle or high school students, educational costs took up the largest share of spending with 408,854 won a month.

Thirty-something households spent just 259,089 won for education since their children were younger.

“As the number of young double-income couples increases, the levels of income and expenditure for 30-something households have greatly risen to rival those of the 40s and 50s,” a statistical official said.