South Korea is expected to become a "super-aged society" by 2025.
According to a report released on Wednesday by Statistics Korea, ( 1) people aged 65 and older currently make up almost 16 percent of the country's entire population.
( 2) By 2025, that's expected to rise to a little over 20 percent, which would make the country a "super-aged society" according to standards set by the United Nations.
( 3) By 2060, seniors are projected to make up almost 44 percent of the country's population.
People in South Korea are expected to live longer than the global average too.
( 1) In 2018, men aged 65 could expect to live another 18.7 years, more than half a year longer than the global average. ( 2) Women aged 65 were expected to live even longer than men at 21.4 years, also higher than the global average.
"In 1998, the average life expectancy of 65-year-olds was lower than the OECD average by 1.2 years for men and zero.9 years for women. But the life expectancy for elderly people in South Korea has improved quickly over the years."
Last year, the top three causes of death for senior citizens were cancer, heart disease and pneumonia.
And with the growing number of seniors, there has been an increase in deaths from age-associated diseases like Alzheimer's.
On the bright side, the employment rate for South Korean seniors has risen to almost 32.9 percent, up 1.6 percentage points.
However, they have a lower level of satisfaction with life compared to the population overall.
Many seniors struggle financially, too.
In 2017, the relative poverty rate defined as proportion of them living on less than half the median income was 44 percent, the highest among the OECD member countries.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.