According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of men in charge of child-rearing and housework amounted to 170,000 last year, marking the highest since the ministry started to compile the data in 2003. The number of full-time househusbands was 166,000, while 4,000 took charge of child-rearing.
The number of stay-at-home husbands has fluctuated over the years. It was 106,000 in 2003 and 161,000 in 2010, but dropped to 130,000 in 2014, the statistics agency said. It rose again in 2015 to 150,000 and peaked last year.
On the other hand, the number of full-time housewives has declined. In 2014, it decreased from the previous year to reach 7.14 million housewives. The figure has continued falling, dropping to 6.94 million last year.
Statistics Korea said that the social change could be the result of an aging society, with more men staying at home after they retire. A rise in the female employment rate could also have influenced the trend.