Number of farmers, fishermen down in S. Korea

SEJONG, The number of South Koreans in the agrofisheries sector fell in 2018, government data showed Wednesday, amid rapid aging and urbanization trends across the country.

The number of households in the farming business totaled 1.02 million in 2018, down 2 percent from 1.04 million tallied a year ago, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The number of farmers dropped 4.4 percent on-year to 2.31 million.

In the fishing sector, the number of families fell 2.5 percent on-year to 51,500 last year, with the population retreating 4 percent to 116,900.

The families involved in the agriculture sector accounted for 5.2 percent of the country's total households in 2018, down 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier.

The statistics office attributed the drop mainly to the rapid aging of the population.

Many young South Koreans in rural provinces have flocked to Seoul in search of high-paying jobs over the past decades, a move that has led to the hollowing-out of rural communities.

The average age of the head of farming families reached 67.7 last year, up from 67 in 2017.

Those aged 70 or over accounted for 44.3 percent of the farming community in 2018, compared with 41.9 percent a year earlier.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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