South Korea Encourages Citizens to Make Babies
Your parents want you to get married and have babies so they can have grandchildren. And now the South Korean government wants the same thing.
It wasn’t always that way. Back in the 70s and 80s, South Korea needed to lower the birth rate in order to help eradicate poverty. Government officials visited villages throughout the country to educate people about birth control and to encourage its practice.
They assisted people by giving condoms and birth control pills. They even encouraged both men and women to have surgical procedures to prevent pregnancy. And one national organization for homemakers urged women to show their ‘love for their country with contraception.’
They were very successful in those efforts. Too successful, as it turns out. For the past 15 years, South Korea has had one of the lowest birth rates in the world at 1.2 per woman, far lower than the level of 2.1 to maintain the population.
So South Korea is now encouraging people to throw birth control out the window. They’re making it popular once again to ‘make babies.’
Yes, they are incentivizing people to have children – cash allowances, boxes of beef and baby clothes, the service of Confucian scholars to determine propitious names for babies, even ads in local newspapers welcoming babies into the world.
Some local governments are prevailing upon private businesses to give longer maternity leaves and running programs to help men learn how to be better fathers. Local officials in some areas have even set up matchmaking events for singles.
Getting married and making babies is back in vogue – at least in South Korea.