October 10, 2014 12:52
The government has squandered vast sums on raising Korea's record-low birthrate over the last eight years but to no avail, a report shows.
According to the report from Ministry of Health and Welfare for the National Assembly, the budget for stimulating the birthrate has grown almost seven times from W2.14 trillion in 2006 to W14.89 trillion this year (US$1=W1,075).
But the number of births dropped from 448,200 in 2006 to 436,500 last year. The total fertility rate, or the expected number of children born per woman in her childbearing years, also remained much the same -- 1.12 in 2006 and 1.19 in 2013.
Worse still, the actual birthrate, or the number of births per 1,000 people per year, fell to the lowest level since the statistics began in 1970 at a mere 8.6 babies last year.
The main reason for the failure seems to be that money was mostly allocated to childcare subsidies, which had little persuasive power for couples. This year alone, W10.40 trillion is being allocated for childcare subsidies, accounting for 70 percent of the birthrate-boosting budget.
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