Representative image

The birth rate is seriously low, the President of South Korea declared a state of emergency

Jun 20, 2024

Seoul [South Korea], June 20: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on June 19 declared a national demographic emergency, offering many solutions to the population decline.
"Today (June 19), I officially declare a national demographic emergency . We will activate the comprehensive government response system until the problem of low birth rates is overcome" , Mr. Yoon spoke at a meeting of the presidential committee in Seoul, South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported.
South Korea's total fertility rate - the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime - has fallen to a record low of 0.72 in 2023, far below the 2.1 needed to maintain growth. maintain a stable population.
The Korean government in recent years has introduced many measures to encourage families to have children. However, factors such as high house prices, education costs and long working hours make many young people not want to get married and have children.
President Yoon Suk Yeol outlined three main areas to address this situation, focusing on work-life balance, improving child care services and providing better housing.
Measures implemented include increasing paternity leave benefits and extending leave for fathers, with the goal of increasing the maternity leave utilization rate from the current 6.8% to 50%. % during Mr. Yoon's term. Next is implementing flexible working hours, expanding the age limit for reduced working hours for parents with young children. In addition, the government will subsidize employers to hire temporary replacements for employees on parental leave.
Mr. Yoon also pledged to increase child care support and expand after-school programs at elementary schools to ease the educational burden on parents.
Households with newborns will be given priority in housing and low-interest loans to buy houses to encourage more newlywed couples to have children. The government will also expand tax incentives for families with children.
In order for policies to be implemented and closely monitored, President Yoon Suk Yeol also announced on June 19 that he would establish a new ministry, called the Ministry of Population Strategic Planning. The ministry will be responsible for developing strategies to address issues such as low birth rates and aging, as well as immigration policy. Mr. Yoon asked the Korean National Assembly to coordinate to soon establish the ministry as planned.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper