Seoul, no children for 40% of new couples

In 2018 the fertility rate dropped to 0.98. It could remain under 1 at least until 2024. The economic crisis and the difficulty in finding job security pushes young people not to marry. The costs of raising children and housing prices also contribute to the demographic winter.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In 2018, more than 40% of new couples did not have children, confirming the demographic winter that reigns over the country.

According to Statistics Korea, which published its data today, 40.2% of new couples, married last year, did not have children this year, an increase of 2.6% compared to the previous year.

The data show that in 45.7% of these couples both partners work, reducing the time to devote to possible children.

In 2018 the fertility rate in South Korea - the number of children a woman generates in her life - fell to 0.98, much lower than 2.1, the rate that guarantees the balance between births and deaths and which would allow the country a stable population of 51 million.

According to the statistics office, the country's fertility rate could remain below 1 at least until 2024, to rise to 1.27 in 2040.

The decline in births is due primarily to the reduction in the number of marriages. Several studies show that young South Koreans are less and less likely to get engaged, marry and have children because they cannot find job security given the present economic crisis.

Other factors are the high cost of education and the very high price of houses, as well as the difficulty for women to find work after leaving it to dedicate themselves to raising children.