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Number of senior citizens grows 5% in May

SEOUL, July 28 — The number of senior citizens in South Korea increased 5 percent in May from a year earlier amid concerns that the country is on a path toward an aged society amid the low birthrate, a report showed Thursday.

According to the report by Statistics Korea, the number of people aged 55-79 came to 9.95 million in May, up 475,000 from the same month a year earlier. The figure represents 24.3 percent of the population aged 15 years or older.

Of the age group, those employed totaled 5.05 million, up 5.7 percent or 272,000 from a year earlier. Their employment rate stood at 50.8 percent, up 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier, the report showed.

A majority of senior people want to continue working even after retirement, according to the report.

Nearly 60 percent of the age group said that they want to keep working, with 32.1 percent citing economic reasons. Of them, 20.8 percent cited the "pleasure of working," the report showed.

In 2000, South Korea became an aging society, where people aged 65 or older exceed 7 percent of the population. The portion is expected to top 14 percent in 2019, making the country an aged society. (PNA/Yonhap) DCT/eds

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