The number of self-employed people in their 50s or older in South Korea reached an all-time high in October, as baby boomers tended to start their own companies after retiring from other careers, data showed Thursday.
According to the data provided by Statistics Korea and the labor ministry, the number of self-employed people in their 50s or older totaled 3.1 million last month, up 169,000 from the same month a year earlier.
This marked the highest count ever, and compared with 2.42 million tallied in 2001, the figure has increased by nearly 700,000 over the past decade, the data showed.
The growth is attributable to a rise in the number of baby boomers getting old and opening their own businesses after retirement. The term “baby boomers” refers to those born between 1955 and 1963, right after the 1950-53 Korean War.
The data showed that the population in their 50s or older stood at 15.2 million as of October, up 52.4 percent from 9.98 million tallied a decade ago.
Most of those self-employed people own businesses related to retail, wholesale, transportation, lodging and restaurants, according to ministry officials and experts.
“This age group tends to plan for a second life after retirement by starting their own businesses,” an expert said. “In particular, those in their 50s usually look to start companies in the retail, wholesale, transportation and other personal services sectors.”