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(8,258 posts)
Thu Feb 29, 2024, 07:27 PM Feb 29

Demographic crisis in Japan and South Korea as birthrates reach new record lows. [View all]

South Korea's fertility rate, already the lowest globally, continued its dramatic decline in 2023, according to Statistics Korea.

The average number of expected babies per South Korean woman during her reproductive life plummeted to a record low of 0.72 last year, from 0.78 in 2022, according to the government agency.

In South Korea, a societal shift has seen a rise in young adults living alone and an increase in unmarried people, particularly among men. This trend underscores the challenges facing South Korea as it grapples with the implications of its declining fertility rate on its future economic competitiveness and societal structure.


The challenges of balancing career advancement with childcare predominantly fall on women, often resulting in extended career breaks and hindering professional progression.

The demographic shift is not only affecting the labor market but also the social fabric of South Korea. Young adults aged 19 to 34, who constituted almost a third of the population in 1990, have dwindled to a mere fifth of the total population by 2020, Newsweek reported.

This group is projected to further decrease to 5.21 million by 2050. Meanwhile, individuals aged 65 and above are increasing in proportion, set to outnumber young adults by the decade's end.


Japan's new births fall to record low in 2023 as demographic woes deepen

TOKYO (Reuters) -The number of babies born in Japan fell for an eighth straight year to a fresh record low in 2023, preliminary government data showed on Tuesday, underscoring the daunting task the country faces in trying to stem depopulation.

The number of births fell 5.1% from a year earlier to 758,631, while the number of marriages slid 5.9% to 489,281 -- the first time in 90 years the number fell below 500,000 -- foreboding a further decline in the population as out-of-wedlock births are rare in Japan.

Asked about the latest data, Japan's top government spokesperson said the government will take "unprecedented steps" to cope with the declining birthrate, such as expanding childcare and promoting wage hikes for younger workers.
"The declining birthrate is in a critical situation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters. "The next six years or so until 2030, when the number of young people will rapidly decline, will be the last chance to reverse the trend."


Japan's population will likely decline by about 30% to 87 million by 2070, with four out of every 10 people aged 65 or older, according to estimates by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

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