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World's Lowest Fertility Rate of South Korea Again Low in 2023

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 29-02-2024
World's Lowest Fertility Rate of South Korea Again Low in 2023 Report 4 min read

South Korea's fertility rate, which is already the lowest in the world, showed a decline in 2023 as women who are more concerned about their career advancement and due to high financial cost of raising children, decided to delay childbirth or not have babies.

Key Highlights

  • According to the data released by Statistics Korea on February 28, the average number of expected babies for a South Korean woman during her reproductive life has hit a record low of 0.72 in 2022, down from 0.78 in the previous year. 
  • This rate is far below the steady population rate of 2.1 per woman. South Korea is the only member of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) with a fertility rate below 1, despite spending billions of dollars to try to reverse the trend of population decline, which continued for a fourth straight year in 2023.
  • Even South Korea has the worst gender pay gap in the OECD. It is believed that  Korean women earn only about two-thirds of what men earn. 
  • The country's demographic crisis is becoming a major risk to economic growth and social welfare systems. 
  • The population of 51 million is on track to halve by the end of this century. South Korea has projected that its fertility rate is likely to fall further to 0.68 in 2024. 
  • The capital city of Seoul, which has the country's highest housing costs, had the lowest fertility rate of 0.55 in the previous year.

Marriages are also declining in the country.

  • There are individuals who choose not to get married, but should also consider why married couples decide not to have children.
  • The political parties' emphasis on population in their election platforms reflects growing concerns after spending more than 360 trillion won ($AU415 billion) on areas such as childcare subsidies since 2006, which has failed to improve the record low fertility rates.

NOTE: With a fertility rate of nearly seven children per woman, Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world, followed by Mali.

India’s Fertility Rate

  • The fertility rate for India in 2024 is 2.122 births per woman, which is a 0.79% decrease from 2023. Similarly, the fertility rate for India in 2023 was 2.139 births per woman, indicating a 0.93% decline from 2022. Likewise, the fertility rate for India in 2022 was 2.159 births per woman, which shows a 0.92% decrease from 2021. 
  • As per the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) that was released in 2022, female fertility levels have gone down below the replacement fertility level of 2.1 in all Indian states, except for five states, which are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and Manipur.


Answer: South Korea

Answer: Niger

Answer: 2.122
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