In 2025, the percentage of the elderly population is expected to reach 20.3 percent, which will make South Korea have one of the oldest populations in the world.
However, only half of the elderly were ready for their retirement or preparing for their retirement. Only 31.1% of the elderly were using the National Pension Service in preparations for their retirement.
The National Statistical Office (NSO) released the "2020 Statistics on the Elderly" on September 28th.
◇ Currently, 15.7% of the population is elderly. South Korea will reach its highest percentage of the elderly population in 2025.
The number of people aged 65 or older stood at 15.7% with 8.125 million people this year. However, the elderly population is expected to grow and reach a percentage of 20.3% in the year 2025 with 15.11 million elderly across the nation. In 2060, this number is expected to increase to a whopping 43.9%.
The number of people aged 65 or older for every 100 people between the ages of 15 to 64 is 21.7 this year. Due to the low birth rate and the aging population, expenses to support the elderly will continue to grow until there will be a ratio of 91.4 elderly people per 100 young people in 2047.
Among the elderly, 34.2% of them are single-person households, with 33.1% married couples, 9.7% being elderly couples with unmarried children, and 5.5% of the elderly being married couples with married children.
Last year, 750.5 elderly per one hundred thousand died due to cancer, 335.7 elderly per one hundred thousand were killed by heart disease, 283.1 per one hundred thousand by pneumonia, 232.0 per one hundred thousand from cerebrovascular disease, and 87.1 per one hundred thousand died by diabetes.
In 2018, the total medical expenses for health insurance were 77.91 trillion KRW (66.1 Billion USD) and the total medical expenses for the elderly were 31.8 trillion KRW (27.2 Billion USD).
◇ only half of the elderly population is preparing for their retirement as bot employment and unemployment rates increase.
Last year, the net assets of the elderly households aged 60 or older were 368.04 million KRW (331,000 USD), which is an increase of 4.46 million KRW (3,820 USD) from the previous year. Compared to the other age groups, for the elderly, 77.2% of the assets accounted for was real estate.
Last year, 48.6% of the elderly 65 years or older were preparing for their retirement - which is a 9.6 percent increase from a decade ago.
Most of the elderly were using the national pension as a way to prepare for their retirement. Other forms of retirement preparations include deposits, installment savings and savings insurance (27.9%), real estate management (14.6%), other public pensions (13.0%), private pensions (8.1%), and retirement benefits (4.7%).
The employment rate of those aged 65 or older stood at 32.9 percent last year which is an increase of 1.6 percent compared to last year of 31.3 percent. Unemployment also increased by 0.3 percent and reached 3.2 percent.
Many netizens are concerned about this trend as there will be a big burden on the younger population to pay higher taxes for the growing elderly population.