South Korea Sets Another Low Total Fertility Rate Record

Statistics Korea has announced that the nation had a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 0.78, which is a new record low for the nation and may be the lowest ever recorded by any nation, according to a report in The Guardian. According to the newspaper: “Last year, A South Korean woman can now expect to have an average of 0.78 children in her lifetime – the lowest level since records were first kept in 1970 – making South Korea the only country in the world with a fertility rate below one.”

The national TFR was down from 0.83 in 2020. At that time, the capital city of Seoul, with the highest population density in the nation, had a TFR of 0.64, while suburban Gyeonggi had a TFE of 0.88. The highest TFRs were in more rural provinces. See: Korea: Moving to the Suburbs of Seoul.

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985) and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council, to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002). He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life and Toward More Prosperous Cities: A Framing Essay on Urban Areas, Transport, Planning and the Dimensions of Sustainability.