Connect with us


South Korea Faces Deepening Demographic Crisis As Birthrate Hits New Record Low in 2023

Avatar of Arsi Mughal



South Korea

(CTN News) – South Korea is grappling with an exacerbated demographic crisis as recent data reveals a further decline in its already lowest-in-the-world birthrate.

Despite the government’s investment of billions of dollars in schemes aimed at encouraging families to have more children, the birthrate has reached a new record low in 2023.

The disconcerting news comes on the heels of reports indicating that South Korea’s population has shrunk for the fourth consecutive year.

This trend mirrors a similar situation in neighboring Japan, which reported a record decline in its population last year, coupled with unprecedented drops in birth rates and the lowest number of marriages since the aftermath of the Second World War.

South Korea’s Urgent Measures

Preliminary data from Statistics Korea, a government-affiliated entity, reveals that the average number of children a South Korean woman has during her lifetime plummeted from 0.78 in 2022 to 0.72 in 2023, marking an almost 8% decline.

Notably, this rate is well below the critical threshold of 2.1 children required to sustain the current population of 51 million.

Since 2018, South Korea has stood out as the sole member of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) with a birthrate below 1.

Furthermore, South Korean women, on average, give birth for the first time at the age of 33.6 – the highest among OECD member countries.

The persistent challenges in reversing the declining birthrate underscore the urgency for South Korea to implement effective measures to address the demographic crisis.

The government’s existing incentives seem to be falling short, necessitating a comprehensive and innovative approach to encourage family growth and ensure the country’s sustainable demographic future.

2014 01 09T120000Z 58991884 GM1E

South Korea Projected Population Halving by 2100

Seoul, South Korea – The demographic crisis in South Korea has reached alarming proportions, as the country’s birthrate continues to plummet, according to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

If the current low fertility rate persists, Asia’s fifth-largest economy is projected to nearly halve its population to 26.8 million by the year 2100.

Lim Young-il, head of the population census division at Statistics Korea, expressed concern, stating, “The number of newborns in 2023 was 230,000, which was 19,200 fewer than the year before, representing a 7.7% decrease.”

This decline underscores the severity of the issue, despite ongoing efforts by the government.

Since 2006, the South Korean government has invested over 360 trillion won ($270 billion) in programs aimed at encouraging couples to have more children. These initiatives include cash subsidies, babysitting services, and support for infertility treatment.

President Yoon Suk Yeol’s administration has designated reversing the falling birthrate as a national priority, pledging “extraordinary measures” in December 2023.

However, financial incentives and support services are falling short in convincing couples to expand their families. Obstacles such as soaring child-rearing costs, high property prices, a lack of well-paid jobs, and a competitive education system remain significant deterrents.

Cultural factors, including the challenge working mothers face in balancing career and household responsibilities, contribute to the ongoing crisis.

Political parties in South Korea are highlighting policies to address the population decline ahead of the national assembly election in April. Proposed measures include increased public housing and easier loans, aimed at alleviating concerns about the country’s future survival.

South Korea is not alone in grappling with an aging population and declining birthrates. Japan, South Korea’s neighbor, is facing similar challenges.

Data from the Japanese government showed that the number of babies born in 2023 fell for the eighth consecutive year, reaching a new low. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned that the persistently low birthrate could soon threaten the country’s societal functioning.

The health and welfare ministry in Japan reported a 5.1% decline in births to 758,631 babies, the lowest since records began in 1899. The number of marriages also fell by 5.9% to 489,281 couples, dipping below half a million for the first time in 90 years.

Factors such as poor job prospects, rising living costs, and a challenging corporate culture that hinders dual-income families contribute to Japan’s declining birthrate.

With Japan’s population projected to fall by about 30% to 87 million by 2070, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi emphasized the urgency of addressing the declining birthrate.

Hayashi stated, “The period until the 2030s will be the last chance we have to try to reverse the trend. There is no time to waste.” The situation has been deemed critical, demanding immediate action to secure the future demographic stability of the country.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

Continue Reading

CTN News App

CTN News App

Recent News


compras monedas fc 24

Volunteering at Soi Dog

Find a Job

Jooble jobs

Free ibomma Movies