Republic of Korea

Republic of Korea Demographic Data

(Source: World Population Prospects, The 2015 Revision)
Total Population: 


50 million (2015)




Total Fertility Rate (TFR): 

Number of children a woman might have in her lifetime


1.3 children per woman (2010-2015)




Life expectancy at birth: 


Men:             78 years  (2010-2015)

Women:        85 years  (2010-2015)



Older persons, 65+ years old: 






Older persons, 80+ years old: 


Old-age support ratio: 

Number of working-age persons (aged 15-64) per each older person (aged 65 and over) 

*A smaller workforce and an ageing population imply that the ratio of workers to non-workers will fall. However, this is only indicative, as it does not take into account of people over 15 still in school, and people over 65 who are working. In addition, if women participated more actively in the economy, the burdens would be further reduced.



Governmental Resources


Ministry of Health & Welfare (Korean) (English)


Statistics Korea (Korean) (English)


Korea Labor Institute (Korean) (English)


Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) (Korean) (English)



Publications by UN entities and other international organizations


Population Ageing in East and South-East Asia: Current Situation and Emerging Challenges, UNFPA, 2006

Health Systems in East Asia: What Can Developing Countries Learn from Japan and the Asian Tigers?, World Bank, 2005

Reconciling work and family: Issues and policies in the Republic of Korea, Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 6, ILO, 2004





Income security for older persons in the Republic of Korea, ESCAP Working paper series, 2016

Long-term care of older persons in the Republic of Korea, ESCAP Working paper series, 2015





Pension Systems in East and Southeast Asia: Promoting Fairness and Sustainability, ADB, 2012

Pension Systems and Old-Age Income Support in East and Southeast Asia: Overview and Reform Direction, ADB, 2011





Society at a Glance 2014: OECD Social Indicators, OECD, 2014

Strengthening Social Cohesion in Korea (a chapter on “Moving from hospitals to primary care for chronic diseases”), OECD, 2013

OECD Labour Force Statistics 2013, OECD, 2013

OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2010 (a chapter on “Health-care reform in Korea”), OECD, 2010

Reforming the Tax System in Korea to Promote Economic Growth and Cope with Rapid Population Ageing, OECD, 2009

Facing the Future: Korea's Family, Pension and Health Policy Challenges, OECD, 2007

The Unification of the Social Insurance Contribution Collection System in Korea, OECD, 2007

OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2007 (a chapter on “Public social spending in the context of rapid population ageing”), OECD, 2007

OECD Employment Outlook 2007, OECD, 2007

Ageing and Employment Policies: Korea 2004, OECD, 2004

Retirement Behaviour in OECD Countries: Impact of Old-Age Pension Schemes and other Social Transfer Programmes, OECD, 2004

The Retirement Effects of Old-Age Pension and Early Retirement Schemes in OECD Countries, OECD, 2003




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