Last year, South Korea with one of the world’s lowest fertility rates and high life expectancy has turned officially aged with the population of the elderly - 65 years an older - outnumbering minors of under 15.
According to the latest census data from Statistics Korea on Thursday, the population of 65 and older rose 3.1 percent, or 206,000, on year to 6.78 million as of November last year, much faster than the 0.4 percent gain in overall population growth to 51.3 million.
Minors aged 14 and under decreased by 138,000 to total 6.77 million.
The aging index, the number of people aged 65 and over per 100 young people under the age of 15, passed the 100 mark for the first time last year at 100.1. An aging index above 100 means that a country has more elderly than young people. South Korea has been graying at the fastest pace in the world, with the index that had been 19.4 in 1990 zooming to 95.1 in 2015.
The oldest was South Jeolla Province with the aging index at 162.8.
Underscoring the dramatic change in the demographic landscape, single-living households took up 27.9 percent of total households, up 0.7 percentage point.
Population in Seoul fell 1 percent. Other major cities Busan and Daegu each shed 0.2 percent residents. Sejong administrative city and Jeju Island added population by 18.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.
By Cho Si-young and Kim Se-woong
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