Women in Seoul Not Having Kids

Article from Yonhap News:

Birth Rate Lower Than One Child Per Woman…Seoul’s Birth Rate the Lowest in the Nation

Among the 17 municipalities in Korea, Seoul comes in last for birth rate.

On September 4th, according to Statistic Korea’s “2013 Birth Rate Statistics,” the total birth rate in Seoul (the number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years) was 0.968 children for every woman, compared to 1.187 nationally.

korea korean low birth rate

This is the lowest birth rate among the 17 municipalities in Korea, and is being called the “childless generation.”

Busan had the second lowest birth rate, at 1.049 children per woman. These municipalities also recorded low birth rates: Daegu (1.127), Gwangju (1.170), Incheon (1.195).

korea korean 2013 birth rate statistics

In contrast, the municipality with the highest birth rate was Cheonnam (1.518), followed by Chungnam (1.442), Sejong (1.435), Jeju (1.427), and Ulsan (1.391).

Seoul recorded a birth rate of 1.056 children per woman during the explosion of births in the “Year of the Golden Pig.” After that, birth rates experienced a decreasing trajectory, with rates of 1.010 in 2008, and 0.962 in 2009.

In 2010 (birth rate of 1.015), and 2011 (birth rate of 1.014), the birth rate hovered around 1 child per woman by a narrow margin. In 2012, in the “Black Dragon Year,” the birth rate rose to 1.059 children per woman, but last year, it fell again to 0 children per woman.

If you look closely at the statistics within Seoul, last year the birth rate in Jongro-gu was the lowest at 0.729 children per woman, followed by Gwanak-gu (0.825), and Gangnam-gu (0.842). Guro-gu had the highest birth rate, at 1.162 children per woman.

While the younger population’s average marriage age is densely concentrated, the reason for the low birth rate in Seoul is because there are many women, and there is a high proportion of late marriages and late births.

Seoul actually has the highest average age of women giving birth among the municipalities.

Lat year, the average age of women giving birth in Seoul was 32.47 compared to the national average of 31.84, a difference of more than 0.5 years.

In 2002, the average age of women giving birth in Seoul was the first to breach 30 years of age, with the average women’s age increasing by about 1 year every 5 years to 30.26 in 2003, 31.48 in 2008, and 32.47 in 2013.

The head of Seoul’s efforts to encourage higher birth rates, Jeon Su-ho, said, “The low birth rate phenomenon is due to the tendency for marriage to seem burdensome in the face of youth unemployment, and the fact that giving birth leads to complex problems like childcare, education, and housing.”

Comments from Naver:


It’s not that they don’t give birth. They can’t give birth because it’s hard for them to make a living.

hanx****[Responding to above]

That’s right, but it still hurts.

akrf****[Responding to anst****]

The women who have no talent should just go to the army. What do they expect in a country where gender discrimination is common… Eight or nine out of ten young women justify not doing military service using the excuse of childbearing…Let’s consider men’s rights, too.


They aren’t having kids because their financial ability doesn’t allow them.


Supporting children without any money is co-destruction. Live life wisely and use good judgement.


So Japan is not the only nation affected by low birth rates…We urgently need a policy to fix this.


I’m a mother who has a 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter within 7 years of marriage. I want to stop women who are thinking about having kids. With my last kid, I had to stop working, and sank into a deep depression. Before I had my kid, I had dreams to achieve, but after giving birth, the number of things I had to do increased, and I ended up having to give up my dream. The result is that I became depressed having to go through this life at home. When women give birth, they need to think about how if affects their ability to continue working. How many companies give maternity leave? The man will only help with housework and taking care of the baby during the honeymoon phase of marriage. Later on, he will be the one making excuses, and neglecting his family. We are still far from equality.

babr****[Responding to above]

Look at these Korean women’s dirty rotten minds upvoting a crazy aggro-pulling comment impersonating a housewife.

thwn****[Responding to babr****]

Housework is easy, but infant care is very difficult, so shouldn’t the husband help out? They all swear and say that it’s like kimchi.


The low birth rate is not the problem of single individuals, but a societal issue. Let’s discuss the birth rate after first creating a good environment for women to give birth and raise their children. Isn’t Korea a difficult place to live in?


In the 80’s, they asked everyone to have fewer children, but now look at the result.

Comments from Daum:


Trash journalists keep doing this sort of media play..How can we have kids when we become slaves if we give birth in this country.

슬픈거북이님[Responding to above]

It’s such a cowardly excuse…If you don’t want to have kids, don’t have them. People have different values, so they shouldn’t be criticized for it. They should honestly say they just want to live comfortably instead of taking care of kids. I don’t like seeing these kinds of excuses.


If this is a nation that has a good standard of living, why would we not have kids? The minimum wage is 5210 won per hour. Is that enough to raise a kid?

친일파알바는 영원한지옥님

The Saenuri Party is driving Korea to ruin.


Have kids, and have them die on the Sewol Ferry or in the army!


It’s hard to take care of myself alone in this world. How am I supposed to have kids?


For whom should we have kids?? To support old stinky bastards who vote for No. 1 [Saenuri]? Or to make slaves for the rich? It’s madness having a baby in a nation that drowns students in water and cannot reveal the truth.


Having a child in South Korea is opening the door to misery. The family’s life will suffer from paying the costs of hagwon, being an outcast, taxes, and living expenses from kindergarten to college. Investing so much money in raising your kids, only to lose them in the Cland and Sewol Ferry disasters is heartbreaking.

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»