Topic Reading-Vol.3194-1/8/2021

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Topic Reading-Vol.3194-1/8/2021

英語で世界を知ろう!Topic Reading

2021/01/08 Topic Reading-Vol.3194-1/8/2021

Dear MEL Topic Readers,

Alarm as South Korea sees more deaths than births

The population of South Korea passed the 50 million mark in 2012. However, the population increase had been declining over the past few years and finally, decreased last year because of the world’s lowest fertility rate. The live births per woman were only 1.1 in South Korea a few years back, which was 1.0 lower than the replacement level, and went below 1.0 for the last three years. Also, even though there were over 700,000 live births in 1995, the figure has been constantly declining over years and there were only 275,000 live births in 2020, approximately 10% lower than the previous year. Since both the number of women of reproductive age and their fertility rate have been declining steadily, a further decrease in the population seems inevitable in South Korea unless people start making more children. However, the country’s urban population ratio is over 80%, making the cost of living, especially the housing costs, very expensive for young couples. Also, South Korea is famous for high education costs in the hope of having their children go to good universities to qualify for better jobs. So, despite the government’s financial incentives for young couples to produce more children, they, especially women, don’t seem to be encouraged to have more or even one child because of domestic burdens that are culturally heavier for women. The same seems to be true in neighboring countries, like Japan. What South Korea will be like a few decades later?

Enjoy reading the article and learn about what could deter women from producing offspring.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55526450

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