Now among the world’s lowest, the country’s fertility rate (measured as the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime) could cause a significant decrease in its population within the next 10 years.
Observers attributed the crisis to several factors including high costs of child-rearing, limited daycare and long hours at work.
According to Agence France-Presse, South Korea’s fertility rate has fallen to a record low 0.95 this year, a figure which is way lower than the ideal 2.1 which, according to demographers, is needed for its population to be stable.
Over the past 13 years, the South Korean government has spent about $121 billion on efforts to increase the rate.
The government has already been providing cash subsidies to eligible parents, but such a strategy to increase children raised per household has yet to make a difference.
It reportedly began its subsidy system of about $88 a month for parents of children under 5 back in September.
South Korea recently announced that it would increase the monthly payments to $270 and expand the subsidy to include the wealthiest 10% of people in the country.
As an added incentive, parents with children below the age of 8 will be allowed to work one less hour so they can take care of their family longer starting late 2019. Paid paternity leave will also cover 10 days instead of three.
It was not reported, however, whether this subsidy expansion and added benefits would mean restrictions for previous subsidies.
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.