Sung Jao CHOI

Document Type

Paper Series

Publication Date



13 (2007)


Population ageing is a social phenomenon not only in developed countries but also in developing countries. The rapidity of population ageing in Korea during the past decade epitomizes how rapidly developing countries are ageing compared to developed countries. Rapid population ageing may be recognized as a universal phenomenon, equivalent to globalization (UN, 2002), which continues to influence almost all aspects of social systems and lives of people.

The relatively gradual population ageing rate in developed countries allowed resources to be accumulated to finance various reforms and the creation of social systems, which includes social welfare for the elderly. But developing countries with much rapid ageing rates and economic development issues to tackle face greater difficulties in addressing issues related to population ageing problems compared to affluent developed countries because of their insufficient resources. The implications of population ageing are not only limited to the welfare of the elderly, but has a much wider effect. From a wider and long-term perspective, population ageing may require a new perspective or an new paradigm in understanding an ageing society.

Korea has attempted to model its policies for ageing society to resemble those of advanced welfare states, but as welfare states no longer seem viable, Korean policy makers are searching for more effective and efficient measures to deal with its rapid ageing population. From the turn of this century the Korean society has begun to understand population ageing from a broad and long-term perspective. Recent policy making, reflecting the broad and long-term perspective, produced a comprehensive national policy plan to deal with the consequences of rapid population ageing.

This paper will first present an outline of the population ageing phenomenon in Korea, followed by a brief review of the recent development of national policies regarding population ageing. Then, this paper will introduce the comprehensive national policy plan of Korean government in response to population ageing and examine major issues and problems related to the development and implementation of national policies on population ageing. Finally this paper will suggest a new perspective to approach an ageing society.

Paper Series No.

APIAS Monograph Paper Series No.13 (2007)

Paper presented at the International Conference on China and Korea held at Lingnan University in Hong Kong during May 30-31, 2007.

Recommended Citation

Choi, S. J. (2007).Ageing society issues in Korea (APIAS Monograph Paper Series No.13). Retrieved from Lingnan University website:



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