The Korea Herald

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6 out of 10 Koreans don’t plan to have babies

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : May 24, 2024 - 16:41

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Infants in the newborn nursery (Herald DB) Infants in the newborn nursery (Herald DB)

Six out of 10 Koreans do not have plans to have babies, data showed on Friday, as the nation has had the lowest fertility rates for years.

According to a survey conducted by research firm PMI on 1,800 Koreans between the ages of 20 and 50, 63.4 percent of the respondents said they do not have plans to have babies. The 1,800 respondents, however, include 530 parents who already have children.

The biggest reason for not planning to have babies was economic instability (25.2 percent). This was followed by the burden of child care and education (21.4 percent), exceeding childbearing age (12.5 percent), changing values (11.3 percent), preference for a child-free leisure life (8.8 percent), lack of time due to a busy lifestyle (8.8 percent) and inability to have children due to infertility (6.1 percent).

The Korean government has already invested significant sums to address the low birth rate without achieving tangible results. According to the National Assembly Budget Office, the government spent 379.8 trillion won on this issue between 2006 and 2023. However, the total fertility rate continued to drop from 0.84 in 2020 to 0.72 in 2023 and is now approaching 0.6.