The head of the Korean affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation recently pleaded with his countrymen and women to have more children.* Choi Seon-jeong**, president of the Planned Population Federation of Korea, warned in the JoongAng Daily that his government must combat a “national crisis of super-low fertility”, or Korea will disappear. MercatorNet asked him to explain how this has happened and how he proposes to increase birth rates. *
MercatorNet:* The latest statistics show that the fertility rate in the Republic of Korea is one of the lowest in the world. You have described this as a “national crisis of super-low fertility”. What do you fear will happen?*
Choi Seon-jeong: Nowadays South Korea has the lowest fertility rate and the quickest ageing rate in the world. Experts are worrying that these will seriously affect the sustainable development of Korean society. If the current trends continue, the total population will decrease after reaching 49,340,000 in 2018. It is expected that after reaching 0% in 2019, the growth rate of the population will get slower and turn into negative growth. The working–age population (between 15 and 64 years) will decrease after reaching 36,190,000 in 2019. The 25 to 49 age group will decrease after reaching 20,660,000, slowing the rate of economic growth.