Домой GRASP/Korea North Korea Can’t Solve South Korea’s Demographic Crisis

North Korea Can’t Solve South Korea’s Demographic Crisis


South Korea’s population is aging fast, and even Korean unification won’t be enough to fix it.
For decades, the population of South Korea has grown. In 1960, South Korea’s population stood at just over 25 million; it has steadily risen over the ensuing decades to over 51 million today. However, that trend will reverse in the years ahead.
According to the UN’s latest State of the World Population report, South Korea’s total fertility rate of 1.3 remains well below the replacement rate of 2.1. The fertility rate first fell below the replacement level in 1983 and in recent years has fallen behind Japan to become lowest fertility rate in the world. As result, South Korea’s population is rapidly aging. In 2017, South Korea’s elderly population for the first time was larger than those under the age of 14, while those in the workforce over 60 now outnumber those in their 20s.
Early indications are that the fertility rate may fall to below 1.0 for the first time for 2018, with little prospect for an increase in the future. A recent analysis of social media found that the economic burden of children, concerns about the lack of spousal help in raising children, and the interruptions to women’s careers hinder childbirth. If current trends persist, population projections by Statistics Korea suggest that South Korea will see its population peak at just under 53 million in 2031 and then decline to 43 million in 2065.
The continued decline in South Korea’s total fertility rate has long-term implications. As the number of children continues to decline, schools will need to close or be consolidated. In time rural city administrations may need to be merged.

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