South Korean households' consumption bipolarization remained in 2019 amid the lingering income inequality, statistical office data showed on Thursday.
The bottom 20-percent households, who earned 1,647,000 won (1,340 U.S. dollars) per month on average, spent a monthly average of 1,024,000 won (840 U.S. dollars) in 2019, according to Statistics Korea. It was about one-fourth of the consumption by the top 20-percent households, who earned a monthly average of 6,272,000 won (5,120 U.S. dollars) and spent a monthly average of 4,221,000 won (3,440 U.S. dollars) last year. The bottom 20-percent households comprised an average of 1.41 family members aged 61.9 on average, while the top 20-percent households consisted of 3.3 family members aged 49.4 on average. The government increased benefits for the low-income, aged households, mainly composed of one-person or two-person households, amid the rapidly-aging population. The bottom 20-percent households spent 19.9 percent of their total consumption on groceries and non-alcoholic drink, 19.5 percent on housing costs, and 12.9 percent on healthcare each. The top 20-percent spent 14.2 percent of their total consumption on eatery and lodging services, 12.8 percent on transportation, and 11.9 percent on education respectively.