South Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol called on Tuesday to approach the issue of the country’s surprisingly declining birthrate from a fundamentally different perspective, emphasising the need to identify its causes and find effective solutions. Yoon made the remark during a Cabinet meeting as South Korea’s fertility rate, already the world’s lowest, experienced another decline in the latest setback to the government’s efforts to boost its declining population, Yonhap news agency reported.
According to the statistics agency, the fertility rate reached a record quarterly low of 0.7 in the third quarter of 2023. The rate is significantly below the replacement level of 2.1, which is necessary to maintain the population stability at 51 million. “The issue of low birthrates requires us to take the situation more seriously and contemplate on the causes and solutions from a different dimension than before,” the President said.
Yoon pointed out that experts attribute the declining birthrate to intense competition, particularly in areas such as education, and stressed that efforts should be concentrated on addressing and rectifying such problems. “Time is running short. I hope that every government agency approaches the issue of low birthrates with extraordinary determination,” he said.
Additionally, Yoon reiterated his commitment to completing three crucial reforms in the national pension, labour and education sectors, emphasising their significance in elevating the country’s growth potential. The President also called on each government agency to promptly execute next year’s government budget, passed by Parliament last week, to support people’s livelihoods. “The confirmed budget aligns with the government’s sound fiscal principles,” Yoon said.