South Korea seems to be reached its population peak in 2020 when it saw more deaths than birth in 2020 for the first time. In South Korea, 275,800 babies were born where 307,764 people died. According to UN predictions, it should reach in 2024. It may be the effect of ongoing corona pandemic. South Korea has the lowest fertility rate in the world i.e. 0.98 (2018).
It is undergoing a drastic and rapid demographic transition in which population sees it swell, decline and eventually stability as the nation gets richer. It is a conundrum for the future of its population where its replacement rate i.e. having the birth rate which balances the total elder deaths, is lower than the world level which is 2.1. South Korea became an aged nation in 2018 and likely to become the super-aged nation i.e. more than 20% elderly population, in 2026. South Korea has an average of 82 years of life expectancy which is among the highest in the world.
The reason behind the low replacement rate is the low birth rate. Women are not able to make a balance between work and other life demands. Rising prices of the real estates in the country also make the child-rearing expensive. The rising social phenomenon in South Korea: the Sampoo generation is also slowing down the birth rate of the country. The word 'sampoo' means to give up the relationship, marriage and children. In 2015 survey, only 23 per cent of the women in the age group of 25-29 claimed to be married.
The government of South Korea has to come with effective policy change to stop this trend in the decline of birth rate. President Moon Jae-in launched the scheme to increase the birth rate of the country. Under this, every child born from 2022 will receive a cash bonus of 2 million won and a monthly payment of 300,000 won for the parental expenses until the age of 1. It will be increased to 500,000 won from 2025.
Now, it depends on the policy changes to control the falling birth rate.