August 3, 2010

KOREA: One in every three elderly households lives in absolute poverty

SEOUL-based National Pension Corporation published a study on Monday which disclosed that 35.1 percent of households consisting of only of people aged 65 or over suffered extreme poverty last year, with their income below the minimum cost of living.

This is more than double the nation’s 14.1 percent poverty rate for all ages in 2009, The Korea Herald reported on August 2.

The elderly poor have been on the rise in recent years, with the figure growing constantly from 30 percent in 2006, 31 percent in 2007 and 32.5 percent in 2008.

In a separate OECD report released last year, Korea’s elderly poverty rate was 45.1 percent in mid 2000, the highest among the 30 advanced countries and more than three times the average of 13.3 percent.

Senior citizens are served with samgyetang at a local welfare center in Jeungpyeong county, North Chungcheong Province. Yonhap News