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3 out of 10 adults still live with parents: report

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By Lee Hae-rin

Three out of 10 adults aged under 50 live with their parents, a state-run research institute found in its latest research paper released on Tuesday.

The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) said that adult children living with their parents is connected to the fact that the average age at which Korean nationals are getting married keeps rising and also to the increase in the number of unmarried individuals.

Its latest report found that 29.9 percent of men and women between the ages of 19 and 49 live with either one or both of their parents.

The think tank compiled the report based on a nationwide survey of 14,538 adults from 9,999 households last year.

The report found that one's marital and employment status are two key factors that determine one's ability to live independently. The number of unmarried people who live with their parents was 20 times higher than the number of married people who do so.

Among the individuals living with their parents, 64.1 percent were unmarried and 43.6 percent were unemployed, while the figures were only 3.2 percent and 23.5 percent for people who were married or employed, respectively.

The percentage of unmarried women living with their parents was 69 percent, which is higher than that of unmarried men doing so, at 60.9 percent, the report said.

Although living with one's parents until marriage has been a cultural norm in Korean society for a long time, the report said, the changing culture in which the average age for getting married keeps rising, along with the increase of unmarried individuals, have affected people's attitudes toward parental control over their lives.

The report also found that education and income are two other major factors affecting people's decision to live with their parents. Higher income earners tend to live independently.

Also, 4 to 5 percent of the survey's participants in their late 30s and 40s said that they have never lived independently from their parents, even though this age group is traditionally considered to be one of the most settled and well-established in Korean society.

Lee Hae-rin

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