Old Age Poverty In South Korea

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Elderly are vulnerable to economic instability. They are prone to higher risk of poverty due to withdrawal from work and health issues. Insufficient public transfer is not able to ensure adequate income of people after retirement. In most countries, poverty tends to increase with age. In other words, the older the individual, the higher chance of becoming poor. Across OECD countries, the elderly poverty rate is 11.2 and 14.7 for age group of 66 to 75 and over 75 years consecutively. The oldest-old, the elderly of age 80 and above are the most likely to be suffered from poverty because hey are less capable of working than the other old age (United Nations, 2015). Another striking point is that the oldest-old, the most vulnerable group, is growing at a faster pace than the overall old age group. This shocking fact has raised a concern for the government to prevent the severe old age poverty.

The situation of old age poverty of South Korea is at its worst. The old age poverty contributes the highest in the total population poverty. In 2000, the elderly poverty rate is 3 times higher than the non-elderly group (Lee & Lee, 2009). Also, income-poverty ratio is the highest in the household led by those aged 60 and above (World Bank, 2014). On the broader scale, South Korea old age poverty is ranked the highest among OECD countries. The elderly poverty rate on average in OECD is 13% while 45% of elderly in South Korea are living less than median household income (OECD, 2015)

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