Sunday, July 15, 2012

Get crackin', people!

Korea's abysmally low fertility rate is a constant subject in the news. This Chosun Ilbo story is no exception:
Korea needs to increase its birthrate from 1.24 in 2011 to at least 1.8 if it wants to maintain its national power, according to a study. The study released on World Population Day on Wednesday by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs stresses the need to increase the birthrate to about 1.8 over the next decade to maintain the population at over 50 million.

This would enable Korea to maintain its social, economic and defense power while minimizing the population decline, the institute speculates.

The institute warns that too many people avoid marriage and childbirth. In the report, it calls for "a new system which provides welfare or insurance covered jointly by the government and employers because it is difficult for women to take maternity under the current employment insurance."
State-sanctioned nookie. (Seriously, I think the ROK gov is this close to encouraging teenagers to get knocked up.)

In the field of demographics, the calculus is simple: the sooner you get people married the longer their period of fertility will be. Yeah, most will be able to put off having kids to whenever it is they want to start having kids, but many will accidentally get pregnant earlier and go ahead and have them, and then, perhaps, accidentally have another later.

If the government wants to help toward that goal, then they should continue helping put couples together, help reduce the time spent on education, and eliminate or dramatically curtail the amount of time people spend doing koshi (preparing for exams) for civil service exams, etc., because these burn up some of the most productive years for having kids.



  1. Hey I did my part. My twins were born yesterday. Now where's my medal (and truckloads of money) Korea government?

    1. 축하합니다! Congratulations! (though I'm not sure how you're finding time to comment on blogs)

      I'm not sure about the medal, but the truckloads of money comes later (though you might have to produce a third child in order to get it).

      Again, congratulations on the successful results of your state-sponsored nookie.

  2. 코리아,

    Would a tax break suffice? How about extra taxes if you don't have kids?.. ;)

  3. >.< you mean we need more babies?! why won't the younger generation do that! We already have two. A third is not an option...


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