Living Arrangement of People Age 65 and Older
The number of older Koreans who live independently has grown rapidly over the past two decades. While just 40 percent of older adults lived alone or with a spouse as of 1994, 20 years later this had grown by more than two-thirds, reaching 68 percent.
Source: Korea Institute for Health and Social Affair
To support older adults’ social engagement, the Korean government has been working to provide age-friendly physical infrastructure and has made significant progress in areas like transportation accessibility, but challenges remain in access to affordable, age-friendly housing. Some municipalities have taken the initiative to build age-friendly communities to accommodate a healthy, active aging population, led by city of Seoul.
Seoul’s Age-Friendly Initiative
In 2013, Seoul introduced the Age-Friendly Initiative, a comprehensive set of measures, which range from fostering a comfortable living environment and a vibrant recreational culture to supporting healthy aging and employment. Seoul’s initiative has a unique el ement of extending the focus beyond the World Health Organization’s age-friendly guidelines and toward people in their middle years, in the hope of better preparing the future older population. Since 2014, the municipality has operated an online portal called “50+ Seoul,” which provides information on a wide range of topics, including community services, cultural events, education and training, and job and volunteer opportunities to support various aspects of their life.
Korea is catching up with other high-income countries, with the disparity in educational attainment shrinking across age groups. Among baby boomers, 71 percent have high-school diplomas or higher degrees, more than triple the rate of their parents’ generation.
Source: Barro R. & J.W. Lee, v. 2.1, Feb. 2016
Average Years of Total Schooling by Age Group (As of 2010)