Wealthy South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world: reasons named

By TravelWiseMar 6, 2024 06:02 AMNews
Wealthy South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world
Wealthy South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world. Source: Bird In Flight

In fact, the birth rate is falling in all developed countries, but not as critically as in South Korea. And experts' forecasts are not encouraging.

In 50 years, the number of working-age people in the country will be halved, the number of citizens who can serve in the military will be reduced by 58%, and almost half of the people will be over 65, the BBC writes.

This is so bad for the economy, pension fund and security that the South Korean government has declared a "state of emergency" in the country.

Wealthy South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world: reasons named
Wealthy South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world: reasons named. Source: Ukrainian News

For almost 20 years, successive governments have spent a lot of money on this problem - 379.8 trillion won ($286 billion).

Couples with children are supported financially, from monthly allowances to subsidized housing and free taxis. The state also covers hospital bills and even IVF procedures, but only for married couples.

However, financial incentives have not worked, and politicians are looking for more "creative" solutions: from nannies from Southeast Asia for lower wages to exemptions from military service for men under 30 with three children.

Koreans themselves accuse politicians of not listening to the opinions of young people, especially women, and not taking their needs into account.

In South Korea, both men and women have the right to an annual vacation until their child turns 8. However, in 2022, only 7% of fathers used part of their leave, compared to 70% of mothers.

Korean women are the most educated among women in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). However, this country has the largest gender pay gap and higher unemployment rate than men.

This, according to the researchers, shows that women have to choose between career and family. And they are increasingly choosing their careers.

A very big problem is the unavailability of housing. Education also costs a lot.

From the age of four, children are usually sent to a variety of expensive extracurricular activities, from math and English to music and taekwondo.

This practice is so widespread that refusing to do so is seen as dooming a child to failure, which is unthinkable in hyper-competitive Korea. This has made this country the most expensive in the world to raise children.

A 2022 study found that only 2% of parents did not pay for their children's private education, and 94% said it was a financial burden.

As TravelWise wrote, according to research, tourism in South Korea is growing steadily as the country continues to recover from the Great Recession. So why not take a trip to this Asian star? The Blue Dragon Country has a lot to surprise you: modern skyscrapers, food, art.

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