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South Korea triples baby payments in attempt to reverse fertility ‘calamity’

korea low fertility rate
  • To encourage more births, South Korea is paying every family with a newborn child a monthly allowance of 1 million won (approximately $745).
  • Handouts will begin next year, starting at 700,000 won (approximately $521) before rising to the full amount by 2024.
  • Once the child reaches its first birthday, the stipend will be reduced in half and continued for another year.
  • South Korea broke its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate in 2021.
  • The expected number of babies per woman dropped from 0.84 to 0.81.

As South Korea continues to hold the record for the world’s lowest fertility rate, families with newborn babies will be given a monthly allowance of 1 million won (approximately $745) to encourage more births.

The budget proposal was unveiled this week as a part of a series of election campaign pledges made by President Yoon Suk-yeol. Under former President Moon Jae-in’s administration, a 300,000 won (approximately $223) stipend was given to each family with a newborn child during their first year. 

Why Asians Give Their Parents ‘Allowances’

For many Asian adults, a typical monthly income not only covers food, bills, savings and other household expenses and necessities, but also includes a portion set aside for their beloved parents.

Such practice, commonly shared by many Asian cultures, is a key virtue in the Chinese tradition of “Filial Piety”, which generally describes respect for one’s parents.