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Statistics Korea, UNFPA co-host 2020 symposium on aging and low fertility Updated: 2020-12-09 16:59:55 KST

Statistics Korea is holding a conference with the United Nations Population Fund to discuss the growing concerns over low fertility and the aging population.
The two-day event scheduled on the 8th and 10th of December is being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts from around the world gathered on Tuesday to address some of the key factors that contribute to low fertility rates, such as uncertainty over employment and the lack of balance between work and family life.
Rising house prices were also mentioned as a driving force for low birth rates in South Korea.

"For couples who cannot afford housing, it is very difficult to imagine having a child in their lives because they cannot afford the expenses required to raising a child as well as other expenses to make their lives better."

South Korea has been reporting a steady decline in fertility rates over the years.
According to Statistics Korea, the total fertility rate in the third quarter of 2020 remained below one reaching an all-time low of zero.8-4.

Also, in this year's annual report by the UNFPA, the fertility rate per woman in South Korea was at 1.1, the lowest in the world.

In an effort to reverse the current trajectory, experts say that policy makers should aim to help people realize their fertility aspirations and desires about family life.
They stress policies should not be aimed at simply increasing the overall population, but should understand and support people's preferences and life choices.

"Policies bring results when they support families in realizing their ideas about family life, (and) when they have a long-term goal, basically, to support family."

On Thursday, the experts will examine the impact of an aging world and explore the policies needed to adjust to population trends.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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