Korea is expected to bear a critically heavy financial burden in caring for elderly people in the coming decades, compared with major developed countries.
According to forecasts and data from the U.N. and Statistics Korea, three Koreans, engaging in “core” GDP production activities, financially support a senior person older than 64 years on average as of 2013.
“The population engaging in core economic activities refers to individuals aged between 25 and 49,” a Statistics Korea official said. “Those aged between 50 and 64 were excluded in the calculation as they have faced retirement.”
The number of elderly (aged 65 or more) and younger working adults (25-49 years) are estimated at about 6.1 million and 19.7 million individuals, respectively, this year, with the ratio posting 30.1 percent.
The ratio of the elderly to working age is expected to surpass 50 percent by 2023, according to data at the agencies. This could mean that two young Koreans will financially support one elderly person within 10 years.
After topping 70 percent by 2030, the ratio is projected to reach 119.9 percent in 2040, the Statistics Korea official said.
Meanwhile, the U.N. predicted that Korea will overtake major countries such as the United States, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom in the younger people’s financial burden for the elderly by 2060.
China will be another country which will suffer from the same burden in the coming decades, the U.N. data showed.
By Kim Yon-se (email@example.com