South Korea: Fertility Rate Drops to Record Low
South Korea’s fertility rate, the lowest in the world for years, has reached an all-time low as the country’s statistics office released data on Wednesday showing the expected number of babies per woman fell to 0.78 in 2022....
- South Korea’s fertility rate, the lowest in the world for years, has reached an all-time low as the country’s statistics office released data on Wednesday showing the expected number of babies per woman fell to 0.78 in 2022.1
- This is a drop from 0.81 in 2021, which was the lowest among more than 260 nations tracked by the world bank. South Korea saw the number of newborns decline from 260.6k to 249k in 2022, while the number of deaths, 373k, exceeded births by 124k.2
- According to UN projections and World Bank data, South Korea has the world’s fastest-shrinking population among economies with a GDP per capita of at least $30k. By 2100, the country’s population is expected to decrease by 53%, deteriorating more than the 43% decline projected in 2019.3
- South Korea’s birth rate has decreased every year since 2015, and it has recorded more deaths than births since 2020. Economic concerns about the declining ratio of workers to retirees are emerging in East Asian countries as China and Japan experience similar demographic patterns.4
- South Korea has joined other countries in creating schemes to increase birth rates, including direct cash payments. Last year, Pres. Yoon Suk-yeol announced plans to raise monthly cash payments to families with newborns from $230 to $770 by 2024.5
- Young people cite the high cost of raising children, poor job prospects, and rising real estate prices as reasons to delay having children or not have them at all. Many women also say they prioritize personal freedom and pursuing their careers as opposed to starting a family.6
Sources: 1Reuters, 2Bloomberg, 3Uk.yahoo, 4CNN, 5Upi and 6Guardian.
- Narrative A, as provided by Ft. South Korea is on the verge of a demographic crisis that will bring an economic crisis along with it. The population pyramid is completely distorted, and the shrinking number of young people won't be able to support the ballooning number of retirees in the coming decades. In addition to the population reducing dramatically, the key number of workers will decrease even more, leading to financial ruin.
- Narrative B, as provided by The overpopulation project. Low fertility isn't a bad thing, and in fact, it can be a key component of an alternative economic and social development system. South Korea adopted a plan in the 1960s to reduce population growth, and the measures proved wildly successful in the subsequent decades. Reduced population can lead to innovative ways to order society, all while protecting our environment, which is in grave danger.