Statistic Korea reported that Korea has become an aged society as its elderly population has exceeded 14 percent for the first time in the nation’s history.
The United Nations classifies a country as an aging society when a country’s elderly population, those aged 65 and above, reaches 7 percent. If the elderly population exceeds 14 and 20 percent, the U.N. classifies the nation as an aged society and super-aged society, respectively.
With Korea becoming an aged society in just 17 years after entering an aging society in 2000, Korea's aging population is rapidly advancing to the point where it is hard to find comparable data globally.
According to the report published by Statistic Korea, as of Nov. 1, 2017, the total population, including foreign residents, living in Korea amounts to 51.4 million, a 0.3 percent increase from the previous year. Despite the population increase, Korea's production age population, which refers to people between 15 and 64 years old, decreased 0.3 percent to 36.1 million.
Notably, the decline in the youth population under the age of 14 was even worse with only 6.63 million, which is a drastic 13.3 percent drop from the previous year.
Given the current fertility rate, the declining trend in the production age population is bound to accelerate over time. Experts predict that unless the patterns change, the production age population will decline by 10 percent in the next 12 years.
More significant, if the current pace continues, Korea will enter into a super-aged society in the next seven to eight years, and experts say this is the most critical issue the nation has to solve, as the continuous fall of fertility and acceleration of aging society can inevitably lead to low economic growth.
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