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Only one out of five S. Koreans considers grandparents part of 'family': survey

All Headlines 23:03 January 24, 2011

SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- As few as one out of five South Koreans considers his or her grandparents as "part of the family," according to a recent survey, reflecting the shrinking definition of a family in the rapidly changing society.

According to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, only 23.4 percent of 4,754 respondents said in the survey released Monday that they consider their paternal grandparents to be part of the family while 20.6 percent granted grouping their maternal grandparents into the concept of family.

In a similar survey conducted five years ago, 63.8 percent said their paternal grandparents were part of the family while 47.6 percent said their maternal grandparents were immediate family members.

Kim Hye-young, a researcher at Korea Women's Development Institute, said the increase in the number of nuclear families appears to be a cause for the outcome of the survey.

"Whether the respondent actually lives with the person seems to have the most influence on the answer," Kim said.

Lee Bok-sil, a ministry official, said, "The definition of a family has narrowed because it has become harder with time for family members to meet as they carry on with their busy lives."

It was not immediately clear what the margin of error for the survey was. The survey was conducted from August to October last year, the ministry said.

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