SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — The spread of the coronavirus would accelerate the trend of low fertility and population aging in South Korea, the central bank report said Wednesday.
In a recent study conducted by the Bank of Korea (BOK), the pandemic would have a limited direct impact on the local population primarily due to the nation’s relatively low infection and death rate.
However, virus shock is expected to deepen the trend of low fertility and marriage rate among young people, thereby having a negative impact on population growth for a substantial period of time.
“The employment and income shock caused by COVID-19 pandemic has been relatively concentrated on those in their 20s and 30s, generating significant influence on the decline in marriage and fertility rates,” the BOK said.
“In the midst of an increase in the share of single-person households, the spread of contactless lifestyle and the deepening of the competition environment, resulting from the spread of the virus, will further weaken positive views about marriage.”
“The impact of the pandemic on the fertility rate will last at least two years until 2022, given this year’s decline in the number of marriages and the suspension of pregnancy,” the BOK concluded.
The BOK researchers predicted that the nation’s total fertility rate could fall to below 0.72 in 2022.
The report stressed that the falling fertility rate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could touch off the decline of the working age population and possibly lead to a second wave of low fertility in 2045 when today’s newborns would reach the best age for giving birth.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)