The Economist's Apprentice

In which a little girl confronts the world and battles the anti-humans.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

More South Korean Babies, Please

From a NYT times article about the falling South Korean birthrate.

South Korea began aggressively promoting family planning in the 1960's, fearing that overpopulation would impede its economic growth. Slogans at the time warned South Koreans, who averaged six children per family, that they would become "beggars without family planning." Even in the 1980's, slogans declared that "even two are a lot."

Successful family planning, coupled with changing mores, led the birthrate to drop below the ideal population replacement level of 2.1 in the 1980's and then more precipitously in the mid-1990's. Now on average a South Korean woman will have 1.19 child in her lifetime - a rate lower than Japan's birthrate of 1.28, comparable to Taiwan's 1.22, and higher than Hong Kong's 0.94.


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