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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

2 in 10 Korean Senior Citizens Are Impoverished

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The unemployment rate of Korean-Americans still remain relatively low, but their poverty rate was above average among Asian-Americans. For those 65 or older, the poverty rate was considerably higher than average Asian-Americans. The latest findings are hinting that Korean-Americans may have been inept at preparing for their lives post retirement.

Pew Research Center released its 2015 statistics of Asian-Americans, which revealed that the Korean-American unemployment rate is currently 5.6 percent, slightly below the Asian-American average of 6 percent.

However, the poverty rate of Korean-Americans reached 12.8 percent, higher than the Asian-American average of 12.1 percent. The federal government’s definition of “poverty” applies to a family of four earning less than $24,250 ($11,770) per year.

Korean-Americans aged 18 or younger recorded a poverty rate of 9.4 percent, but for those in the workforce between ages 18 and 64, the poverty rate reached 12.9 percent. That is also higher than the Asian-American average of 12.1 percent.

The reality becomes even more daunting when the figures are just limited to those 65 or older. The poverty rate of Korean-Americans in that age group is 19.3 percent, considerably higher than the Asian-American average of 6.5 percent. Korean-Americans specifically are showing a tendency to become poorer as they age. Such a trend is hinting that perhaps Korean-Americans are not as prepared to enter retirement in comparison to other Asian-Americans.

The rate of homeowners for Korean-Americans was also relatively low at 47 percent, compared to average Asian-Americans (57 percent). Korean-American immigrants showed stronger desire to own a home (49 percent) than U.S.-born Korean-Americans (42 percent).

The rate of employed Korean-Americans above the age of 16 is 58 percent compared to non-Korean Asian-Americans (61 percent).

By Moonho Kim