The world’s lowest fertility rate, South Korea, continues to fall.
SEOUL: According to data released on Wednesday, South Korea’s fertility rate fell to a record low last year, marking yet another grim milestone for the nation with the lowest number of expected children per woman in the world.
According to Statistics Korea’s official annual report, the number of expected babies per South Korean woman throughout her reproductive life decreased to 0.78 in 2022 from 0.81 the previous year.
This is the lowest rate among nations in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), which had an average rate of 1.59 in 2020. It was significantly lower than the 1.64 that was recorded in the United States and the 1.33 that was recorded in Japan in the same year.
Despite spending billions of dollars annually on subsidies for childcare, the government has not been able to reverse the declining birth rate.
South Korea was the only OECD member with a rate below 1, indicating a declining population as of 2020.
In South Korea, being married is considered a requirement for having children, but marriage rates are also falling due to sky-high housing and education costs.
With a birth rate of 0.59, Seoul, the nation’s capital, had the lowest rate.