S.Korea’s single-person households hit record high in 2021

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Xinhua News

7th December 2022 – (Seoul) The number of single-person households in South Korea hit a new record high in 2021 as young people delayed marriages, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The proportion of one-person households to the total families reached a fresh high of 33.4 percent in 2021, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.

The number of one-person families was 7,166,000 last year, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier.

The proportion continued to rise from 20 percent in 2005, surpassing 30 percent in 2019. It was forecast to hit 39.6 percent in 2050.

The rapid growth in one-person households came as the younger generation delayed or gave up on marriages owing to economic difficulties such as surging housing price and stubborn youth unemployment.

Of the single-member households, those in their 20s accounted for the highest portion of 19.8 percent in 2021.

It was followed by those in their 70s or older with 18.1 percent, 30s with 17.1 percent and 60s with 16.4 percent.

The number of one-member households with jobs was 4,140,000 in 2021, taking up 57.8 percent of the total.

The annual income of one-person households averaged 26.91 million won (20,350 U.S. dollars) last year, while their average assets and debts stood at 211.08 million won (159,640 dollars) and 35.83 million won (27,100 dollars), respectively. 

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