More elderly Koreans are working after retirement to avoid poverty, but many find their income insufficient, data showed Wednesday.
According to data released by Statistics Korea, 36.2 percent of those aged 65 or older in 2022 said they are still working, up 6.1 percentage points from 2012’s 30.1 percent.
The rate was above the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member nations’ average of 15 percent and the highest among the 36 OECD member countries.
Japan reported 25.1 percent, while Sweden reported 19.2 percent and the United States stood at 18 percent in 2021.
Most of the elderly still working after retirement seek to help cover living costs as inflation outpaces wage gains.
Some 54.6 percent of those who were working found their earnings insufficient. Among those unemployed, 65 percent of them said they did not have enough income.
Their poverty rate remains high among OECD members as many seniors have been forced to stay in low-pay jobs.
In 2020, the poverty rate among Korea's elderly stood at 40.4 percent, the highest among OECD member nations. Australia reported 22.6 percent, while the US reported 21.6 percent and New Zealand stood at 16.8 percent in 2020.
The relative poverty rate -- the percentage of people living with an income below 50 percent of the median income -- for those in that age bracket also came to 39.9 percent, down from last year’s 40.4 percent, according to the data.
Meanwhile, the data also showed that the total number of seniors surpassed 9 million for the first time in 2022 and is projected to rise rapidly.
Accounting for 18.4 percent of the country’s 51.5 million population this year, seniors are projected to make up 30.1 percent by 2035 and 46.4 percent in 2070.