SEOUL, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The top 20 percent of South Korean families earned an average of seven times as much income as the bottom 20 percent during the third quarter of this year, the biggest wealth gap reported in a decade.
According to a state statistics agency, the average monthly income of the bottom 20 percent of families decreased by 7 percent to $1,167 (1.3 million won) during the third quarter this year, compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the average monthly income of the top 20 percent of families rose by about 9 percent to $8,620 (9.7 million won).
Statistics Korea said the monthly income of the bottom 20 percent has been on a decline for three consecutive quarters this year while the top 20 percent has seen its monthly income increasing for consecutive 11 quarters since 2016.
Middle-income families earned an average of $3,672 (4.1 million won) a month, 2 percent increase from the previous year. Upper-middle-income families brought home an average of $5,039 (5.6 million won), 6 percent increase than a year ago.
The drop in the monthly income of the bottom 20 percent of families has been due to the low unemployment rate and the slow pace of the domestic economy, according to the statistics office.