Friday, November 6, 2015

Projected patterns of aging in Korea

One of the major factors that will influence the shape of Korean society and its economy in the coming decades is the demographic composition of the population.  South Korea is on track to see a rapid increase in the proportion of older people in its population, as shown by the accompanying graphic (click for a full-size version), published together with an article in The Korea Joongang Daily.  As noted in the article, "Recent data jointly compiled by Statistics Korea and the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, shows that 72 of the country’s 252 cities, counties and districts (28 percent) will have a population of which over half is aged 65 or older by 2040. Namhae County, Hapcheon County and Uiryeong County, all in South Gyeongsang, will see their rates exceed 80 percent. Korea is currently categorized as an aging society, meaning that more than 7 percent of the country’s total population is 65 or older. The country is set to become an aged society by 2026, when more than 14 percent of the entire population will be 65 or older."
The graphic shows at a glance that suburbs and rural areas are going to age much more rapidly than the largest cities in Korea, reflecting the highly urbanized character of this nation's economy.

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