WHEN STORKS STAY AWAY: South Korea

Young couples choose to focus on lifestyle, career instead of starting family

Taiwan and South Korea are facing a baby crisis as fertility rates hit historic lows and population numbers plunged for the first time last year. Straits Times correspondents look at why the storks are not visiting and what the governments are doing about it.

The South Korean government has pledged to spend another 196 trillion won (S$235 billion) on various schemes over the next five years to encourage childbirth. PHOTO: SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT/PENTA PRESS
The South Korean government has pledged to spend another 196 trillion won (S$235 billion) on various schemes over the next five years to encourage childbirth. PHOTO: SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT/PENTA PRESS

Even though she loves children, newly married Kim Su-ji is in no hurry to have one herself.

The freelance designer, 30, wants to enjoy life first with her husband, doing activities such as hanging out at cafes and going camping, while at the same time saving money to buy a house.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2021, with the headline 'Young couples choose to focus on lifestyle, career instead of starting family'. Subscribe