Korean J Community Nutr.  2016 Aug;21(4):321-331. 10.5720/kjcn.2016.21.4.321.

The Effects of the Economic Characteristics of Single-person Households on the Food Service Industry

  • 1Department of Economics, Hanbat National University, Daejeon, Korea. jopk@hanbat.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to examine the economic characteristics of single-person households and explain the effects of them on the food service industry.
For this paper, I analysed the data related with single-person households and the food service industry in two surveys, Household Income and Expenditure Survey and Wholesale and Retail Trade Survey published by Statistics Korea from 2006 to 2015, with an empirical test performed utilizing these data. The indicators of the age of householders, disposable income per capita, and the rate of household of worker were compared between single and multi-person households. Furthermore, sales and the number of establishments in the food service industry were used as industry-variables, and disposable income, eating-out expenses and the rate of single-person households as the household-variables were used in a panel analysis.
The results showed that household incomes were lower, age of householder was higher, and the percentage of household of worker was lower in single-person households in contrast to multi-person households. According to the empirical analysis, eating-out expenses of single-person households, in comparison to multi-person households, has significantly positive effects on the growth of the food service industry. This means that the recent trend of increasing numbers of single-person households may help the growth of the food service industry.
The growth in the rate of single-person households has been one of the most striking demographic shifts in recent decades. Their economic characteristics and the effects were analyzed to give the managers in the food service industry and the policy-makers useful information in dealing with this new trend. Moreover, in considering the fact that single-person households eat out more frequently than multi-person households, the food service business should develop the managerial strategies focused on acclimatizing to single-person households.


single-person households; economic characteristics; food service industry

MeSH Terms

Family Characteristics*
Food Services*
Health Expenditures
Strikes, Employee


  • Fig. 1 Disposable income per capita and the rate of household of worker (single vs. multi-person)

  • Fig. 2 Average age of householder and disposable income of single households (workers vs. non-workers)

  • Fig. 3 Average propensity to consume and the rate of meal expenses in disposable income (%)

  • Fig. 4 Number of establishments and workers and operating profit in the food service industry

  • Fig. 5 Growth rate of GDP and the food service industry (%)

  • Fig. 6 Sales to GDP ratio and operating profit to sales ratio in the food service industry (%)

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Food consumption behaviors of women by marital status: focus on the 2015 consumers survey data on food consumption behaviors
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