Volume 30 - Article 26 | Pages 753–794  

Education, Elderly Health, and Differential Population Aging in South Korea: A Demographic Approach

By Bongoh Kye, Erika Arenas, Graciela Teruel, Luis Rubalcava


Background: Population aging proceeds with other socioeconomic developments, including educational expansion. Improvements in educational attainment lead to changes in demographic behaviors such as assortative mating, fertility, and the intergenerational transmission of education, which change the health of the elderly and the education of their offspring generation.

Objective: We examine such a jointly-changing process in South Korea.

Methods: We apply a recursive demographic model (Mare and Maralani 2006) by using the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing (KLoSA).

Results: First, improvements in education lead to improvements in health among the elderly. Intermediate demographic factors make positive contributions to this improvement. Second, improvements in education lead to a decline in the ratios of offspring to the elderly because better-educated people have fewer children. However, this decrease is not substantial. Third, improvements in education increase the ratio of college-educated offspring to the unhealthy elderly because of improvements in both offspring‘s education and elderly health.

Conclusions: The results suggest that improvements in education change configurations of the elderly and their offspring‘s generations, mitigating the negative consequences of population aging, such as increasing burdens of elderly support.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

The COVID-19 pandemic and fertility responses: TFR simulation analysis using parity progressions in South Korea
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Are parents and children coresiding less than before? An analysis of intergenerational coresidence in South Korea, 1980–2015
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Intergenerational transmission of women’s educational attainment in South Korea: An application of a multi-group population projection model
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