Published: 15:45, April 18, 2024
Number of S. Korea's farming households falls below 1m for 1st time
By Xinhua
A farmer shows harvested ginseng at a ginseng field in Punggi of Yeongju city, South Korea, Sept 30, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

SEOUL — The number of farming households in South Korea fell below 1 million for the first time last year, statistical office data showed Thursday.

The number of farming families slipped 2.3 percent from a year earlier to 999,000 in December 2023, according to Statistics Korea.

The figure declined below 1 million for the first time since relevant data began to be compiled in 1949. It had about 10,000 households in margin of error.

The farming households had been on the decline in recent years as the rapidly aging population encouraged more farmers to quit farming.

The proportion of farming households to the country's total households stood at 4.6 percent in December last year, down 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

The population of farming families retreated 3.5 percent to 2,089,000 in the cited period, accounting for 4.0 percent of the total population.

Of the total farming family members, the highest share of 36.7 percent was those in their 70s or older, followed by those in their 60s with 30.7 percent and those in their 50s with 14.9 percent each.

The proportion of farmers aged 65 or older to the total advanced 2.8 percentage points to hit a record high of 52.6 percent last year. It was far higher than the country's total elderly population rate of 18.2 percent in 2023.

The number of fishing households reduced 1.8 percent over the year to 41,800 in December 2023, while the number in the forestry sector decreased 1.4 percent to 99,200.