Population Decline Means Looming Shortage of Conscripts

  • By Kim Jung-hoon

    February 11, 2022 09:24

    The number of young men being conscripted into military service is expected to decline by almost 100,000 by 2025 as Korea's population declines, and potential university students will dwindle by 570,000.

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance, which made the projection, on Thursday said it will come up with a response later this month.

    "The military needs to overhaul its organizational structure, because the declining number of conscripts and shorter service period make it difficult to maintain troop levels."


    The school-age population is also expected to drop from 7.89 million two years ago to 6.94 million in 2025 and the working age population from 37.4 million to 35.6 million.

    The government said it will look into hiring elderly workers to make up for the shortfall. Instead of extending the retirement age, it proposes rehiring retired workers or scrapping the retirement age altogether.

    The government announced similar plans in 2019 but was met by stiff opposition from businesses.

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