South Korea's farmers and fishermen keep falling amid aging population
The number of farm households was 1,021,000 as of Dec. 1, 2018, down 2 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. The population of the farm families declined 4.4 percent to 2,315,000.
The figure for fishery households fell 2.5 percent to 51,500 in the cited period, while the number of fishery families reduced 4 percent to 116,900.
It came as young people in rural areas continued to flock to the capital Seoul for attending universities and getting jobs for the past decades.
The combined number of farmers and fishermen accounted for 4.5 percent of the country's total population as of Dec. 1 last year, down 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.
The rural communities were hollowed out amid the aging population, which increased the number of aged farmers and fishermen giving up their farming and fishing.
The biggest age group in the farm households was those aged 70 or higher, which stood at 745,000, or 32.2 percent of the total, in 2018. Those aged 65 or higher made up 44.7 percent last year, up 2.2 percentage points from a year earlier.
For the fishery households, the biggest age group was those in their 60s which accounted for 28.6 percent of the total. Those aged 65 or older took up 36.3 percent of the total last year, up 1.1 percentage points from a year ago. ■