Intern Reporter: Shin Jung Woo.
(Daewon International middle school)
Posted on Nov 05, 2020, 13:53:57

Hello I’m Shin JungWoo of Daewon International School. Today I will look at low birth rate issue and some solutions that South Korea can consider. Low birth rate is a social phenomenon that birth rate generally decreases because of fewer children. This phenomenon is not a problem that only Korea has, it is a problem that almost developed countries have. Now, total fertility rate of Korea is falling to less than 1. Total fertility rate is average number of child that a woman gives a birth in her life.

The graph above shows the total fertility rate in Korea’s Total fertility rate. Looking at 2018, it is in the zero range. There are three reasons for having so few children.

First, the rise of women’s social status. 100 ~ 200 hundred years ago, women only had do housework and have children, but now, more and more women come to societies and works same as men. So, women don’t have enough time to take care of children.

  Second, the economic burden of raising children. It is because if you want to raise children, you need financial support. So I think if this issue is resolved, the total fertility rate can increase, recording over 1.

Finally, the values of women toward children have changed. In the past, many families raised a lot of children, but now there are more families who have only one child and raise them carefully.

There are two solutions to solve low birth rate problems.

The first is to offer subsidies when giving birth to children. The government is already supporting households that gave a birth. But, as the future goes, more subsidies are needed to be provided. For example, when a family raises a child, if the government is providing 1 million won, it will increase to 1.5 million won and 2 million won in the future. 

Second, a solution for parental leave is necessary.

The graph above is a comparison of parental leave policies by country. In Korea, the period of parental leave is long, but the salary payment is quite low. Still, it is better than unpaid situation like the US and the UK. But, in the future, if companies don’t observe parental leave rules, many parents decide to quit their jobs, leading them to be financially burdened. Therefore, I think that the salary payment level, other than the period of parental leave, should be 50% to 60% of the total wage.

We have looked into the problems and solutions of low birth rate, which is the biggest problem in Korea. I hope that everyone knows the seriousness of the low birth rate problem and gives a lot of help for the future.

Shin Jung-woo
Daewon International Middle School.
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