Posted October. 02, 2008 08:48,
People age aged 65 and older in Korea have exceeded five million this year to account for 10.3 percent of the population.
According to a news release from the National Statistical Office yesterday, the number of people aged 65 and older has grown to 5.02 million, up 206,000 from last year. The elderly population had accounted for 9.9 percent of the population last year.
The number of senior citizens broke three million in 1998 and four million in 2004. If this pace keeps up, the elderly are expected to number more than 10 million by 2026.
By 2018, more than 14 percent of the Korean population will be age 65 or older, making the country an aged society as defined by the United Nations. By 2026, Korea is projected to become a super-aged society.
The ratio of the working population (between ages 15 and 64) to the elderly is 14.3 percent, meaning seven working people support one elderly citizen. As the trend continues, however, 5.5 working Koreans will support one senior citizen.
With the rapidly aging population and low birth rate in Korea, the aging index was 59.3 percent, up 4.2 percentage points from last years. The aging index is the number of people aged 65 and over per every 100 youths under the age of 15, and the statistical office said the latter will exceed the former by 2016.