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Fertility rate decline becomes a brewing crisis in South Korea

Billions of dollars spent as incentive is not convincing people to have children


Key points from article :

South Korea has again recorded the world's lowest fertility rate with the number sinking to a new low.

Figures released by the government - dropped rate to 0.81 - down from 0.84 the previous year, and a sixth consecutive decline.

Countries need at least two children per couple - a 2.1 rate - to keep their population at the same size, without migration.

Fertility rates have "declined markedly" in the past six decades says the OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Trend has been particularly pronounced in South Korea - family sizes reduced in the span of a few generations.

Declining youth population leads to labour shortages that impact the economy.

2021 figures experts cite discouraging factors in having children - higher living costs, house prizes, impact of the Covid pandemic as factors.

The country has the highest gender pay gap of any rich country.

Many women are forced to choose between having a career and having a family.

Increasingly they are deciding they don't want to sacrifice their careers.

A woman said to Seoul correspondent, Jean Mackenzie: "we are on a baby-making strike." 

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Jean Mackenzie

BBC Seoul correspondent

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Intergovernmental economic organisation founded to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

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Fertility rate decline becomes a brewing crisis in South Korea