Birthrates in Asia

Recent studies show that people with Asian descent are 1) living longer but 2) having fewer babies. Why have the birthrates dropped?

It seems that although the “perfect number” of children hasn’t dropped in the past decades – it’s at two kids – the actual feeling that having children “is necessary” has definitely declined. Parents tend to think twice these days before deciding to continue their legacy; inability to provide for the kids and personal goals with which childbearing would interfere seem to be the backbone of people’s reasoning.

The Korean government, for one, has noticed this statistical decline, and attempted to affect it by offering improved maternity leave and other similar privileges. However, these seem to be only weak incentives for couples merely considering postponing childrearing. Speculatively, more long-term measures – such as guaranteed education for the children’s future – may be needed instead.

If it remains unchanged, the birth rate decline may cause Japan’s population to decline at 38% every 30 years. Growing up during high levels of economic growth, prospective parents today are more apprehensive of having children as the economy is now worse off.

In an attempt to alleviate the danger of this sharp decline, governments worldwide have funded and employed new strategies. In Singapore, for example, eleven new dating agencies were endorsed by the government. Marriage coordinators, speed dating events, and matchmaking agencies are on the rise now precisely for that reason; leaders are attempting everything within their reach to solve the growing issue.

Private companies and governmental agents alike are working hard to sway the statistics of declining birthrates in Asia. When faced with overpopulation, this does not sound like an issue at all. However if things remain unchanged, twenty or so years down the road the real issue will become that much more apparent. There will be a smaller youth population, creating discrepancies in the economy and in social strata alike.

– Natalia Isaeva

Sources: East West Center, CNBC
Photo: Telegraph