This country has the world's lowest fertility rate, breaks its own record
In yet another grim milestone, South Korea fertility rate dropped to a new low as the country smashed its previous records. The figures revealed by the national statistics body on Wednesday (February 22) highlight that the fertility rate - or the average number of expected babies per South Korean woman over her reproductive life - fell to 0.78 in 2022, down from 0.81 a year earlier. This is viewed as a fresh setback to the country's efforts to boost its declining population.
South Korea, according to a report by CNN, needs a fertility rate of 2.1 to maintain a stable population. While the birth rate in the South East Asian nation has been falling since 2015, it has recorded more deaths than births for the first time since 2020. Its population reportedly shrank for the first time in 2021. Among other concerns is the likely impact of the falling birth rate on the economy of the country, which currently holds the tenth position globally.
South Korea's fresh worry
The new fertility rate is also the lowest among countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), which had an average rate of 1.59 in 2020, and far below 1.64 in the United States and 1.33 in Japan the same year. Seoul, the country's capital, has registered a fertility rate of .59.
Despite spending billions on child subsidies, the government has not been able to achieve the desired outcome. Amid sky-high housing and education costs, marriages are also plunging in the country.