The declining birthrate of Korea has become a cause of national concern, as it potentially threatens the extinction of the race in the future. But how soon could it happen?
According to David Coleman, a revered demographer and professor at Oxford University, the growing disparity of gender-based workload is one of the primary reasons for Korea’s plummeting birthrate.
The 77-year-old professor has been researching the shrinking population of the country for a long time and had warned at the UN Population Forum about the possible annihilation of South Korea in 2006.
According to the demographer, the male-centric South Korean society has created a biased social fabric where women carry “excessive responsibilities and obligations at home,” which has directly caused the growing reluctance for child-rearing. Other causes of the country’s declining fertility rate are grueling work hours, lack of job security, and high cost of living.
According to Coleman’s prediction, South Korea is facing the imminent danger of disappearance by the year 2750. His estimation perfectly aligns with a 2014 study conducted by The National Assembly Research Service (NARS) in Seoul. NARS ran a simulation based on the 2013 fertility rate of 1.19 children per woman and found that the national population will reduce to 40 million by 2056 and 10 million in 2136. The last South Korean, the reports estimated, would die in 2750, marking the first national group extinction.
However, both Coleman and the study made accommodations for changes in the situation based on variables such as immigration and better policies for child-rearing.
When Chosun Ilbo, the oldest daily newspaper in South Korea, recently posted an article about Coleman’s warning, netizens were stunned. Not because they were anxious about their race disappearing but because the timeline was completely unexpected.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
- “? We’re really gonna hold out for that long?”
- “750 years ago from now was the Goryeo era. 750 years from now means a world that we can’t even imagine now. If we survive, we survive, LOL.”
- “The destruction of mankind will happen before that anyway, so it’s okay.”
- “We don’t even know if Earth will have oxygen then. It doesn’t matter if we go extinct or not.”
- “…? I was worried if we could hold out for the next 50 years, and they’re talking about 750 years?”
- “Holding out for quite long, I see.”
- “It’s still so far away. Everything will probably change by then, LOL. If things stay the same as now, nothing good will happen.”
- “Hello?? It’s more than 100 years??”
- “Is that a typo of 2075?? 2750 would be a long time, though, LOL.”
- “There’s quite a lot of time left.”
- “If it’s in 2750, then I’m okay with extinction.”