South Korea: Why Is The Country Shrinking? 

South Korea smashed its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate last month. 

The average number of expected babies per South Korean woman fell to 0.78 in 2022, down from 0.81 a year earlier, making South Korea the only country with a fertility rate below one.

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 Despite the government spending 280 trillion ($210bn) over the past 16 years to save the birth crisis, it has failed to increase the fertility rate. 

In today’s Briefing, we speak to Ruth Phillips, professor in policy studies from the University of Sydney, to find out why and if it could ever happen in Australia. 

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Philips said one of the consequences of low fertility rates was related to the ageing population. 

More people are dying than babies being born, so you have this inverse proportion of dependency with an older population and less people in the future to look after them,”

She said.

Philips said one of the responses to tackle the ageing population was migration, but it was a “bandage solution”. 

If you don’t migrant people who have babies, you don’t actually address that problem.” 

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