For Women, Housework for Others Until 84: Data

Men become net recipient of housework by age 47.

For Women, Housework for Others Until 84: Data

Credit: Public domain.

The Bureau of Statistics 통계청, the government organ responsible for compiling official statistics, conducted an interesting study released on June 27: a deep dive on how “credit” for unpaid housework accumulates over a lifetime. Within the framework of the study, a “surplus” of housework means that a person performed more housework for others, and a “deficit” means a person received housework services rendered by others.

The results of the study threw South Korea’s gender gap into sharp relief.  The study found that children and young adults generally run a “deficit” in housework. Women begin racking up a surplus by age 25, while men don’t do so until 31. By age 47, men once again become net recipients of housework services -- something that women, who continue to perform housework for others as a practical matter, do not get to do until age 84.

According to the BoS, the total value of South Korea’s unpaid housework as of 2019 was KRW 490.9t (USD 375.9b), or 25.5% of South Korea’s gross domestic product for the same year.

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