South Korea has smashed its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate.
According to data published by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the average number of expected babies per South Korean woman over her reproductive life fell to 0.78 in 2022, down from 0.81 a year earlier.
The figure is the lowest among countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which had an average rate of 1.59 in 2020, and far below 1.64 in the United States and 1.33 in Japan the same year.
The South Korean government has spent 280 trillion won ($210bn) over the past 16 years to reverse the falling birth rate but has failed to turn the tide.
President Yoon Suk-yeol’s government in December unveiled a series of measures to tackle South Korea’s falling birth rates including eliminating discrimination against women in the workplace.
The government also pledged to take steps to provide affordable housing and more jobs for young people.