Low Fertility in South Korea: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_3804-1

Synonyms

Definition

Total fertility rate is defined as the total number of children born or would be born to a woman in her lifetime. Total fertility rate of about 2.1 births per woman is called the population replacement level. Low fertility refers to a total fertility rate below the replacement level. Lowest-low fertility refers to a total fertility rate at or below 1.3.

Introduction

South Korea is facing a fertility rate crisis. Its rapidly dropping fertility rate is now one of the lowest in the world. In 1960, South Korea’s total fertility rate (TFR) was 6.0, dropping to 4.53 in 1970. Since 1983, the TFR in South Korea has remained below the population replacement level (Lee 2009). In 2003, the TFR dropped to 1.19 and has remained below 1.3 ever since (Stephen 2012). As of 2017, South Korea’s TFR hit a low of 1.05 and is expected to continue to fall, placing the country at risk...
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Governance and Policy EvaluationSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulKorea