96% of young people perceive children as expenses: research

Students play volleyball at an elementary school in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Yonhap

The financial burden of raising children is the biggest cause behind the country’s continually falling birthrate, with almost all people aged between 20 and 44, the age group mostly marrying and having children, feeling pressure about it, a survey by a state-run institute showed, Tuesday.Respondents said the government should share the economic burden of parents raising children and take responsibility for providing adequate housing, implying money is the key factor in people’s hesitation to have children.The Korea Population Health and Welfare Association (KoPHWA), under the direct control of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, released the results of its survey, conducted from Oct. 23 to Nov. 13, on 2,000 people aged between 20 and 44 — 500 each of single men and women and 500 each of married men and women.It carried out the survey in a bid to understand what has caused the declining total fertility rate, which fell to a fresh record quarterly low of 0.65 in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to Statistics Korea.Regardless of marital status, 96 percent of the respondents emphasized the high costs of raising children. Some 69 percent, regardless of their marital status, said the state should take responsibility for related expenses and 20.3 percent cited employers as another party to share the burden.Against this backdrop, 21.3 percent of single women and 13.7 percent of single men expressed unwillingness to have a child.The outcome of the survey coincides with a recent report released in February by the Beijing-based YuWa Population Research Institute, which found that the cost of raising a child in Korea was the highest in the world.

According to the report, the total cost in Korea for child support until age 18 is 7.79 times higher than per capita GDP. China came next with 6.3 times. For comparison, the report said that cost is just 2.08 times the GDP per capita in Australia, 4.11 times in the United States and 4.26 times in Japan.Korea’s per capita GDP was $34,983 in 2021, according to the Bank of Korea.Kim Sang-hee, the mother of a 2-year-old daughter who lives in Seoul’s Jungnang District, said she sometimes thinks about what having a second child would be like, but it is just a fairy tale to her.“I sometimes think it would be good if my daughter had siblings, but my husband and I have already felt economic pressure to raise even one child,” she said.“I want to work to supplement the family income, but it is not easy either as my daughter is still too young, and I have nobody to help me take care of her.” Besides high childrearing costs, other negatives recognized on having children included concerns about the future of the children such as fierce competition and climate change, with 88.8 percent saying so when multiple answers were allowed; disruption of women’s careers when giving birth and raising children, 77.6 percent; and restriction of parents’ freedoms, 72.8 percent.As for the positives of having children, 92.3 percent said they can grow spirituality while raising children, and 83 percent said children are the joy of their life. Some 83 percent said they can maintain stable marital relationships due to children.The report expressed concerns that the country’s total fertility rate trend will not change for the time being, especially due to single people’s perceptions on childrearing.“Because of these perceptions of single women and men, who carry the possibility of creating more babies, the total fertility rate is expected to keep falling for a long period,” the report said, urging the government to carefully analyze the results of the survey and draw up countermeasures to induce 스포츠토토존 changes in the attitudes of young people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *