South Korea’s fertility rate falls to the lowest in the world

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South Korea's fertility rate falls to the lowest in the world
South Korea's fertility rate falls to the lowest in the world
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SEOUL: South Korea’s fertility rate fell to the lowest in the world last year, data showed on Wednesday (Feb 24), as uncertainty over the coronavirus discouraged couples from marrying and having children. 

The number of expected babies per South Korean woman fell to 0.84 in 2020, dropping further from the country’s previous record low of 0.92 a year earlier, the official annual reading from Statistics Korea showed.

That is the lowest among over 180 member countries of the World Bank, and far below 1.73 in the United States and 1.42 in Japan.

The grim milestone comes after the population fell for the first time ever last year.

A nurse attending to new borns in a baby ward in South Korea
A nurse looks after newborn babies at the Samsung Medical Center, one of the subsidiary companies of Samsung Group, in Seoul December 8, 2007. The Samsung Group runs hospitals where Koreans are born, apartments for raising families, funeral halls for deaths and just about everything else for in between. Picture taken December 8, 2007. To match feature KOREA-SAMSUNG/ REUTERS/Han Jae-Ho (SOUTH KOREA)

Asia’s fourth-largest economy is the fastest ageing country in the OECD. The government has failed to reverse the falling birth rate despite spending billions of dollars each year on childcare subsidies and maternity leave support.

The nation’s capital Seoul logged the lowest birth rate of 0.64.

Source: Reuters

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