Aging Society Leaves Korea Ill-Prepared

Difficulty Level: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

There is no denying that South Korea has been undergoing rapid demographic changes, such as the rapid aging of its population along with an increase in the total of multicultural families, but it wouldn't be incorrect to say that the government and society as a whole are not yet dealing with the changes appropriately. The most severe complication facing South Korea is aging. It is common for a society like Korea to get increasingly older in relation to its economic advancement. However, the speed of aging is too rapid.

Government data suggests that the amount of citizens over the age of 65, among the total population stood at 13.1 percent in 2015, compared with 3.8 percent in the early 80's. South Korea is now on the cusp of becoming an “aged” society, a term applied to a population of which more than 14% are over the age of 65. The government roughly calculates that the proportion of society who are senior citizens, which totaled just 7 percent in 2000 to make Korea an “aging” society, is expected to increase to 24.3 percent in 2030, 32.3 percent in 2040 and around 40.1 percent in 2060.

Many argue that the government has been neglecting the issue at hand, and must create an initiative to help provide social assistance, healthcare, and programs to ensure their well-being.

Synonym Match:

Match the words from column 1 with the corresponding synonym in column 2.

Column 1 Column 2
1.) undergo a.) approximately
2.) complication b.) experience
3.) on the cusp c.) section
4.) roughly d.) ignore
5.) proportion e.) verge
6.) neglecting f.) plan
7.) initiative g.) statistics about humans
8.) social assistance h.) welfare
9.) demographic i.) difficulty


  • 1.) What's the biggest problem currently facing South Korea that must be addressed?
  • 2.) Are you concerned about the future of your parents? Why? Why not?
  • 3.) What are some changes you are undergoing in your life? What are some changes your company is undergoing?
  • 1.) Which demographic do you think is the most marginalized in your country?
  • 2.) Do you agree that South Korea is ill-prepared to care for its senior population?
  • 3.) What is the biggest concern facing your demographic?
  • 1.) What changes would you implement in your country if you were given the authority?
  • 2.) What are some human rights that everyone should be entitled to? For example, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, etc..
  • 3.) Do you have any firsthand experience with problems facing the elderly?


  • Undergo: To experience or be subjected to (something, typically something unpleasant, painful, or arduous). "I had to undergo three months of therapy." "The company underwent massive changes to rebrand itself."
  • Demographic: The study of a population based on factors such as age, race, sex, economic status, level of education, etc... "Our products main demographic is males between 30 and 40 years of age."
  • Complication: A circumstance that complicates something; a difficulty. "The biggest complication facing America today is immigration."
  • On the cusp: At a point in time that marks the beginning of something. "Google is on the cusp of revolutionizing the automobile market with self-driving cars."
  • Roughly: Lacking accuracy; estimation. "There are roughly 100 people in attendance."
  • Proportion: The relation between two groups(In this article the proportions are seniors and non-seniors). "The proportion of senior citizens living in poverty is unacceptable."
  • Neglecting: To pay little to no attention to something or someone. "I have been neglecting my studies since I began working part-time."
  • Initiative: The power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do. "We have lost the initiative to compete overseas due to a weak currency."
  • Social Assistance: Means social security, or welfare.
  • Marginalized: To treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant or peripheral. "The elderly are often marginalized because they are the weakest in society."
  • Implement: To put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc.) into effect. "We should implement the changes as soon as possible to reduce our expenses."
  • Entitled: To give (someone) a legal right or a just claim to receive or do something. "Works are by law entitled to overtime pay, and 10 vacation days a year."
  • Firsthand experience: From the original source or personal experience; direct. "Even though she had a masters in business she had no firsthand experience in actually running a business."

Daily Expressions & Idioms:

1.) "In the long run": Something that is over a long period of time; valuable in the end.

"Learning English is a lengthy process, but in the long run the benefits outweigh the costs."

2.) "Cut corners": When something is done poorly to save time and money.

"We should stop cutting corners and hire a professional to market our brand."