South Korea takes steps to re­verse low birth rates

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - SNAPCHAT -

Seoul – South Korea is­sued a raft of mea­sures yesterday to try to re­verse one of the world’s low­est birth rates, of­fer­ing po­ten­tial par­ents in­creased ben­e­fits as it faces a loom­ing pop­u­la­tion de­cline.

The coun­try’s fer­til­ity rate – the num­ber of chil­dren a woman is ex­pected to have in her life­time – fell to 0.95 in the third quar­ter, the first time it has dropped be­low 1 and far short of the 2.1 needed to main­tain sta­bil­ity.

As a re­sult, the pop­u­la­tion of the world’s 11th largest econ­omy, cur­rently 51 mil­lion, is ex­pected to start fall­ing in 2028.

Seoul said yesterday it would ex­pand child sub­si­dies – of up to 300 000 won (about R3 800) a month – to the rich­est 10% of fam­i­lies.

From next year, par­ents with chil­dren younger than eight will be able to work one hour less each day to take care of their off­spring. –

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