Fertility Rate In South Korea Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Problem Motivation

            Research has found that all the South Koreans are going to be extinct by the year 2750. The main contributing factor for this would be the low birth rate of South Korea and it is going to be the first nation on the earth to become extinct by the year 2750. A parliamentary study was carried out in order to project the future population of the country and the study had found that the last South Korean that is going to enter the world is going to enter in the year 2621. The Chosun Ilbo newspaper had also reported that the last capital Seoul is going to be born in the year 2505.

            Busan which is the southern port city of South Korea would be the first city of the country which is going to be empty. This city is also one which has one of the rapidly aging populations of the country. The last resident of this city would be born in the year 2413 as suggested by the study. In short if we talk about the population of South Korea then it is going to be dropped to over 20 million in 2100 and 40 million in 2056.

            The New Politics Alliance for Democracy party was the one through which this research was commissioned. The main motive of this research was to draw the attention to the fertility rate of the country. The fertility rate recorded for the year 2013 was 1.19 children born per women. This rate is far below the rate which is required in order to sustain the population of a country. China on the other hand has imposed a one child policy but the fertility rate of South Korea is far below to that of China and also Japan.

            These studies were initiated after the initial work regarding the populations was done by David Coleman in the year 2006 who had said in that year that the existence of the nation was threatened as a result of the fertility rate of the country. Many measures have been implemented by the government of South Korea in order to combat this rising trend. This paper attempts to address certain factors and whether they influence the fertility rate of South Korea or not.

Literature Review

            The Republic of Korea has been facing the problem of fertility since the year 1983 and the country has been experiencing below fertility replacement. Therefore, in order to understand this declining trend and the specific measures that could be taken to reverse back this fertility rate it is most important to review the literature and understand the most significant causes of the decline in fertility in South Korea.

            The 1950s era in South Korea is called as the era of the baby boomers and during this era the economic growth of the country was significantly low. This cycle of poverty was observed by the policymakers of the country and they knew that this was one of the major concerns for the Korean People. Then in the year 1962, a National family planning program was initiated by the government of Korea. Under this plan, the economic plans for the forthcoming five years of Korea were made. The total fertility rate had dropped from 6 in the early 1960s to the replacement level fertility in the year 1983 and this was considered as a huge success by the policymakers.

            The government of the country promoted this further by providing the women many incentives such as contraceptives and promoted many messages such as the small family sizes coincided with the rapid expansion of the economy and increased industrialization in the country. However, concerns started to arise in the 1980s and the early 1990. The researches then showed the rising sex ratios at birth which in the form of ratio was 115 males for 100 females. This was because most of the parents strove to give birth to male child. The families considered it highly important to have a male child in terms of their social support and economic support as well. Unwanted pregnancies were therefore, terminated by the parents with the help of the sex determination technologies.

            After that the government of South Korea had taken many steps such as the government had outlawed the early determination of the sex of the babies and had promoted the value of daughter but still the ratio of girls to boys has been declining far below than the normal levels. Till today there have been no such policies devised by the government that had been effective in restoring the low fertility rate of South Korea...................................

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