Working mothers unlikely to have second child

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Working mothers unlikely to have second child

When it comes to parenting, many say that the second child is the tipping point when women begin to feel overwhelmed and are less likely to have another baby.

But for many Korean working moms, the first child is enough to steer them away from a second pregnancy. According to a recent study, seven out of 10 working moms opt out of having a second child.

The survey, released yesterday by the Korea Institute of Child Care and Education, polled 259 working mothers nationwide who have one child younger than 6.

Of the respondents, only 32.4 percent, or 84, said that they would want to have a second child while the rest of them said they had no such plans.

Those with daughters are more inclined to want a second child than those raising baby boys; 39.5 percent, or 129 working moms with girls, have plans for another child, whereas 25.4 percent, or 130 mothers with baby boys, opted for a second child.

The research institute said that the results reflect Korean parents’ preference for boys and the belief that it takes more effort to raise them. The institute also said that household income correlates to how many children a woman wants to have. The higher the income, the less likely the family is to want a second child. It added that the trend is in line with Korea’s low birthrate.

Last year’s fertility rate was 1.19 births per woman, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The figure, a decrease from 1.3 in 2012, dampened the government’s hopes that its drive to encourage childbirth is having any effect.

Before that, the birthrate had inched up from 1.23 in 2010 to 1.24 in 2011.

Acknowledging the downward trend, the budget for measures to promote childbirth has increased by 252 billion won ($244 million) for 2014, from the original government proposal of 3.3 trillion won.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that to promote childbirth, it will increase its financial grants to couples with a second child as a beneficiary.

Currently, many incentives are reserved for parents with three children. Some local governments, such as Jeju, have upped their financial incentives to include a second baby.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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