SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul Metropolitan Government is competitively introducing a first childbirth celebration benefit in a bid to raise what is one of the lowest birthrates in the world.
Starting this year, Geumcheon and Seocho districts will be providing 300,000 won (US$256) in the form of incentives and support for couples who give birth to their first child.
With Geumcheon and Seocho added, the number of districts that provide benefits for their first child in Seoul has increased to 19 this year from 17 last year.
Local governments, which had previously offered congratulatory benefits for first child, are also scrambling to raise the amount of the subsidies they offer.
Yongsan district raised the congratulatory allowance for the first-born child to 500,000 won from 100,000 won this year. Based on the benefit for first child, it is the highest level in Seoul.
It is unclear, however, how much the temporary payment of aid will help boost the birth rate.
In the case of Seoul, 25 municipalities spent 11.9 billion won on birth benefits in 2018 alone.
Even with the benefits, city’s total fertility rate, however, fell to 0.76 in 2018 from 0.84 in 2017, which is also below the national average.
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