A Glimpse of Social Phenomenon ‘Child-free’ as The Main Concern in South Korea

Bella Wulansari


The rising trend of Child-free is commonly happening in several countries. The increasing number of women who have chosen not to have children seemed to be the world's primary concern. This is regarded as the most important variable influencing human population expansion. Even if some nations are experiencing an overgrowth population of their citizens, the situation will be different in many countries experiencing a demographic crisis.

For instance, in South Korea, the government is now preoccupied with the population crisis. In 2022, the South Korean government stated that the total fertility rate had reached 0.81, which is high enough since the total fertility rate averages the number of babies born to each Korean woman throughout their reproductive year. It demonstrates that the rising fertility rate in Korea continues to occur at the end of each year. In other words, South Korea's fertility rate has been the lowest in the world over the last year. In addition, the population fell for the first time in 2021. That caused alarm among the business community. Some observers predict labor shortages and increased spending on retirement benefits as the number of elderly persons rises and the number of taxpayers falls.

On the contrary, many Korean adults believe that they have already decided not to have children or to marry at all. Young Koreans, unlike their parents or grandparents, do not feel obligated to start a family. Some reasons for opting against having children include social inequity, gender inequality, a challenging job market, as well as costly housing and living conditions. Furthermore, the high expense of raising children in a competitive world is the primary cause.

Therefore, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol directed officials to devise a better solution to the situation. If the situation was not resolved, it would have a negative influence on the Korean population. On the other hand, Koreans will be scarce over the following years. As a result, South Korea has provided various incentives and assistance programs to persuade its citizens to have children. Likewise, the South Korean government spent over $210 billion to convince their citizens to have at least one baby in their family. However, the fertility rate continues to plummet too quickly to notice any substantial impacts. Then, the government would then be forced to propose new measures to deal with the population decline.


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