Volume 45 - Article 1 | Pages 1–16  

Are parents and children coresiding less than before? An analysis of intergenerational coresidence in South Korea, 1980–2015

By Bongoh Kye, Yool Choi


Background: Intergenerational coresidence has important consequences for care provision for the young and the old. Given the rising concerns about population aging in South Korea, understanding intergenerational coresidence is very relevant.

Objective: This research describes evolving intergenerational coresidence patterns in South Korea between 1980 and 2015 through the lens of fertility decline, increased life expectancy, and changing marriage patterns.

Methods: The 1% micro data in the Korean census were used to describe changing co-residence patterns, and Sullivan’s method was used to estimate the length and proportion of intergenerational coresidence.

Results: Coresidence with parents decreased over time due to an increase in the proportion of older people. After controlling for age structure, the prevalence of parent coresidence increased due to a reduction in sibling size and delay in marriage. Coresidence with children changed little due to a decrease in the proportion of young people. After controlling for age structure, the prevalence of child coresidence decreased substantially due to fertility decline and delay in marriage. Whereas the proportion of lifetime coresidence with parents decreased modestly between 1980 and 2015, the proportion of lifetime coresidence with children almost halved.

Conclusions: As the nuclear family has become the dominant family household form, multigenerational coresidence has become less common. Demographic changes partly offset the trend of decreasing parent coresidence but amplify the trend of decreasing child coresidence.

Contribution: This research shows the importance of demographic changes to changing family configurations in South Korea. As well as familial changes, fertility decline and rising longevity affect the patterns of intergenerational coresidence.

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