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 The Global Fertility Crisis

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PostSubject: The Global Fertility Crisis    The Global Fertility Crisis  Icon_minitimeFri Jan 10, 2020 12:44 am

America is not immune

South Korea recently denied draft exemptions for members of the K-pop boy band and international sensation BTS. BTS is one of South Korea’s most dynamic economic and cultural exports, worth about $4.65 billion annually to the South Korean economy. But despite the hundreds of millions of dollars of lost economic output involved, the boys of BTS must serve. The South Korean military cites many reasons for the denial of exemptions, but one reason may simply be urgent need. Thanks to the nation’s critically low birth rate, just 0.88 children expected per woman at 2019 levels, the army is expected to shed over 100,000 troops in the next four years.

Korea’s case is severe, but it may be more common in the future. Birth rates have fallen around the world for decades. The global total fertility rate (a simple metric of how many children a woman entering her reproductive years would have if current age-specific birth rates remained stable over her life) has fallen from 5.04 kids per woman in 1963 to about 2.43 today.

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