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South Korea's fertility rate drops to fresh record low in 2023

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Korea and Japan remind me of Mississippi and Arkansas in the U.S. Whenever there's a bad statistic, people in Arkansas could always say 'hey, at least we're not Mississippi!'

Japan's birthrate is still almost 60% higher than Korea. Amazing

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Wow! Really unprecedented self extinction.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Looking at these figures, Japan has nothing major to worry about. Korea, on the other hand, does.

I guess SK are banking on AI,robots and drones to fill essential tasks like farming, nursing, laboring, transport and factory work within the next 3 years. Problem is, I am not sure their tech is up to scratch to perform these tasks. SK had better emulate Japan's policies - which see almost double the fertility rate - or else South Korea will cease to exist ultimately.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Real rate in Japan not much better, Japan's JN's living abroad get counted domestically, even most are married to a gaijin and will never return. Plus, straight up gaijins get counted if born Japan. So, about 125K kids in 2023, should be removed from true Japanese fertility calcs, or nearly 20% lower than the official number.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Some interesting stuff about Korea in here.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Society/South-Koreans-choice-of-staying-single-gains-wider-acceptance

If anything, gender roles are more traditionally defined there than in Japan. That's certainly been my impression from the Koreans I've met myself. The gender pay gap in Korea sounds even worse than Japan. If women are on low pay, you have to wonder how they are going to support themselves, given that life expectancy for them will be something like 88. A whole working life of supporting yourself without shared living costs, then twenty odd years of retirement to fund on your own while limited to the jobs the elderly are able and/or allowed to do.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

South Korea has been run even worse than here.

The "san-bo" generation.

They realize marriage, a home , a career is unobtainable and reject it.

No point in having policies to increase the birth rate with out major reforms in working style.

Rigid Confucius based hierarchies don't help either.

Like the analogy of the oil tanker, I think it's to late to change the course now.

As for here in Japan, my money is on the LDP plotting the same course.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Japan's JN's living abroad get counted domestically, even most are married to a gaijin and will never return. Plus, straight up gaijins get counted if born Japan.

While that is true and usual for the preliminary number of births, that number is not used to calculate the fertility rate in Japan. The official fertility rate for 2023 will be released in June and only considers births to Japanese women living in Japan.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Just to be fair South Korea and Japan can attract immigrants. China on the other hand…

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

ust to be fair South Korea and Japan can attract immigrants.

Large or even medium scale immigration is not on the cards for SK or Japan. I cannot see that changing in either place. An increase in short-term visa trainees - maybe.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Having kids is a burden, life is great as single person it could be good with kids, but great is better.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Great news. The problem of what to do with all the people out of jobs and not needed in society due to automation, robot, technology and AI has been solved. Just don't have the people in the first place.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Some migration figures.

Koreans recorded a negative net migration of 23 thousand persons in 2021,

In particular, Koreans aged 21~29 showed the highest negative net migration of 21 thousand

persons, rise in outgoing migration of Koreans (7.2%).

통계청

https://kostat.go.kr › boardDownload

PDF

They are losing a lot and they are losing the young.

I wonder what the fertility/marriage statistics are for Koreans who have emigrated to another country.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There's a serious lack of pediatrics in Korea as trainnee doctors see no point in specializing in that area as there will be no patients.

Drops in population aren't all about having more space and freedom.

There are consequences, people, services

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In South Korea, the capital Seoul had the lowest fertility rate of 0.55 last year.

I can see many woman who work in Seoul having tons of debt because of the outrageous beauty standards set forth by their entertainment industries. Not to mention the have and have nots are in a farther apart than here in Japan. The average salary in S. Korea is higher than in Japan, yet there are only a handful of firms that can employ and give out high wages in S. Korea compared to Japan. The seniors are also practically living in poverty. Both Japan and S. Korea have many problems to solve, but I am glad I'm in Japan for now...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There's too many people on this planet as it is.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Every developed country has the same problem.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Can't wait to see how "some" SKoreans are going to blame this on Japan.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

As kohakuebisu wrote above, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Society/South-Koreans-choice-of-staying-single-gains-wider-acceptance is an interesting take on this. On thing mentioned was, "In January, LG Uplus, a major telecom service provider, introduced a program to support employees who prefer to stay single. Those who declare their wish on a corporate message board will be offered an allowance equal to one month's basic salary and five paid days off -- the same perks given to employees upon marriage." Then the article said, "The company says the program is designed to respect diverse lifestyles." Korea is planning to diversify itself out of existence. I know another country that seems to want to do that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How's North Korea doing?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sounds like SK is a more extreme version of Japan. More traditional gender roles, wider gender pay gap, strong cultural norms to be married to have kids etc. On top of that, there is the issue with SK women being confident, and have adopted feminism, leading to discrimination against men from what I understand. I don't see how SK can reverse this trend without a mass immigration policy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the Koreans could only turn their competitive mindset as they compete against one another to go to the best schools and getting in a good company and turn that into seeing who could have the most children that would turn the birth rate around. The government would first have to make housing affordable with a living wage and change some of the cultural values that is hampering this decline. If they can make some of those changes perhaps the numbers could go up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 defying the billions of dollars spent by the country to try to reverse the trend

Now you get paid to s**g? Sign me up.

The Uk has half the population of Japan and manages quite well. Japan is overpopulated. Sure, some economic problems in the short term, but the population needs to be halved so that maybe we can consider having some open grassed space - like a few acres per village - with nothing built on it.

But no one gets a back-hander for that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Uk has half the population of Japan and manages quite well. Japan is overpopulated. Sure, some economic problems in the short term

And the long term. First country to ever impose sanctions on themselves; Brexit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Actual dive into numbers reveal an interesting fact.

Full 52% of all births are from top third in income tier.

Full 91% of all birds are from top two thirds in income tier.(Middle class or higher)

In other word, it's the extinction of the poor, not the rich. Top one third still average 2+ births. This is why Korean public is surprisingly unconcerned with falling birthrate, since the birthrate is being calculated against the baby boom era of the past which was unsustainable.

Since the rich are still maintaining a 2+ birthrate, the birthrate decline will stabilize at some point and pretty much all newborns are from middle class or higher.

@Fighto!

Problem is, I am not sure their tech is up to scratch to perform these tasks.

Never heard of Boston Dynamics, the subsidiary of Hyundai....

If any country deploys terminators first, it will be Korea... Already the ROKAF is investing heavily in stealth drones to accompany manned fighters, three drones per manned jet.

https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned/2024/02/26/south-korea-eyes-mixed-fleet-of-manned-unmanned-warplanes/

South Korea eyes mixed fleet of manned, unmanned warplanes

.

SK had better emulate Japan's policies

In Korea, women aren't as oppressed as Japan is. Fertility rate is higher in countries where women are oppressed while lower in countries where women are freer.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Fertility rate is higher in countries where women are oppressed

True, the fertility rate is higher than in South Korea where women are oppressed.

The fertility rate is also higher than in South Korea where women are not oppressed.

Because literally everywhere the fertility rate is higher than in South Korea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

North Korea's rate is quite a bit better but still under the replacement rate. Hopefully there will be a peaceful reunification in the not too distant future and that will kick off a baby boom.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Deanzza - Why does there need to be reunification?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is there any rule that says we can’t have two Koreas? They aren’t really that similar. Maybe better to just let them develop separately than try to force something that neither side seems to want once the practical implications are considered.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does the North really have anything the rest of us need?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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