Family may be everything in Korea, but by last year more than 1 in 4 Koreans were living alone, beating rates in (supposedly) more individualistic societies like the US and Australia.
While this provides a lot of opportunities for companies, there’s also a dearth of suitable accommodation. And most of those singles are not carefree youth, but either middle-class 30 and 40-something men, or women in their 60s and above living in poverty. With rates set to become 1 in 3 by 2020, this is set to become a huge political, economic, social, and cultural issue in Korea’s near-future.
For a heads-up, see my latest article for Busan Haps, which includes entirely too much information on why I split up with my first Korean girlfriend…
Update: Also see Sorry, I was drunk for a deconstruction — and demolition — of the oft-cited claim that Korean society is more communal than Western societies.