[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'A change of the times'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'A change of the times'

More than half of the young population in their 20s don’t want to have children even after marriage, according to the KDI Economic information and Education center’s excerpt from the Ministry of Gender Equality of Family’s study.
The percentage was 29.1 percent in 2015 but drastically rose to 52.4 percent in 2020.
This is in stark contrast to the nationwide average's small increase to 28.3 percent from 21.3 percent.
The change of values regarding marriage and childbirth may be affecting the results.
According to Statistics Korea, last year’s total fertility rate, which indicates how many children a female has during her lifetime on average, is 0.81, dropping 0.03 from last year’s results. This is the lowest result in the last five years.
Korea is the only OECD country to have a total fertility rate lower than one.
There were 193,000 marriages last year, a 9.8 percent decrease from last year and an all-time low.

“No one would want to give birth. You won't have enough to buy a house even after working for 10 years and saving up. No parent wants to pass down their poverty.”
“Please, do something about the educational system to change the birth rate. If private education is cheaper, people will start having kids.”
“It’s up to each person to decide whether or not to have children. But for me, I’m so much happier now than when I didn’t have a child and ate whatever I wanted, wore whatever I wanted alone. It’s such profound happiness to be a parent.”
"After having a kid, he is adorable beyond reason. I can pick myself up in a financial crisis for him. The child makes a parent."
“It up to each person to have or not have children. However, the low child birth rate in Korea won’t go away easily, no matter what policy we come up with. It’s not just the social structure, but also the way young people think nowadays.”
“Ask married couples in their 30s and 40s. It’s not just people in their 20s. This isn’t a limited trend for the MZ generation. It’s a change of the times.”

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [yoo.jiwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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