Chart of the week: South Korea’s disappearing children

South Korea's fertility rate is the world’s lowest at 1.05, a far cry from the 2.1 required to keep the population stable.

903_COTW

South Korea is running out of babies, says The Economist. The fertility rate, gauging how many children the average woman will have over her lifetime, is the world's lowest at 1.05, a far cry from the 2.1 required to keep the population stable. Women, who are better educated than men and increasingly eager to carve out a career, face pervasive discrimination at work and are loath to drop out of a job to start a family in case they can't return. Having children outside marriage, meanwhile, is still frowned upon. This is bad news for future growth and the "strained pension system". Improved childcare will help, but it won't be enough to solve the problem while immigration "remains a touchy subject".

Recommended

Why investors should beware of India’s surging stockmarket
Emerging markets

Why investors should beware of India’s surging stockmarket

The BSE Sensex benchmark index has soared by 90% since March, largely driven by foreign investors. But India's bull market is very vulnerable.
15 Jan 2021
How Asia's RCEP deal has brought the return of free trade
Global Economy

How Asia's RCEP deal has brought the return of free trade

While Britain and the EU struggle to come to terms, 15 Asia-Pacific countries quietly signed the biggest free-trade deal in history. That’s a welcome …
25 Dec 2020
Emerging markets are bouncing back
Emerging markets

Emerging markets are bouncing back

The MSCI Emerging Markets index plunged by 33% between 1 January and 23 March as economies locked down. But it has since rallied by 68%.
24 Dec 2020
Australia’s economy bounces back
Asian economy

Australia’s economy bounces back

Australia’s economy endured its first recession in 29 years in the first half of 2020. But things are now looking up.
20 Dec 2020

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it
Inflation

Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it

The UK government borrowed £34.1bn in December, a record amount for that month. Britain's debt pile now amounts to 100% of GDP. How are we going to pa…
22 Jan 2021
When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?
US stockmarkets

When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?

With US stocks more expensive than before the Wall Street crash of 1929, there are growing signs of “mania”. But what will push markets over the edge?
22 Jan 2021