The purpose of this study is to help Korean policymakers devise ideal population policy for Korean society by surveying and analyzing the data on historical and contemporary changes of the Korean population. The goal is to help policymakers find population policy and planning measures that can improve the quality of life for Koreans at large.
Although the population and social development policies of a nation must be consistent with each other, the connection between the two has not been particularly strong in Korea, until now. Once we gain a better understanding of how various demographic factors affect the social and economic development of a country, we will be able to exert greater control over how the Korean society and economy grows and evolves.
Most importantly, the Korean state ought to tackle the various problems caused by uncontrolled population growth by reinforcing its family planning programs and educating women in their childbearing years on the benefits of family planning.
Until now, Korean population policy has mainly focused on reducing the number of members in any given family, haunted by memories of the explosive populatin growth that took place during the Japanese occupation and in the aftermath of the Korean War. From 1925 to 1944, when Korea was under Japanese rule, the Korean population grew from fewer than 20 million to over 25 million. After the Korean War, the population in South Korea alone grew from 21 million in 1955 to 35 million in 1975. While the birth rate reached 43 percent in 1960, the death rate topped out at a mere 14 percent. Population growth is especially apparent in major cities and provinces with industrial towns, including Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, Jeollanam-do, and Gyeongsangbuk-do.
In order to develop and implement effective population policy measures, the Korean government should become involved in more than merely reducing the number of family members in each household, and instead undertake a series of related and consistent policy programs of a more comprehensive scope. The policy measures themselves should be applicable to almost all Korean households. In order to improve the quality of policy programs, policymakers should also adhere more closely to existing research data, and commission more studies and evaluations of the policy measures that have already been undertaken, with a view to improving the goals and quality of future programs.
Although the Korean state is increasingly active in its approach to population control, it can still benefit from the professional services of a specialized research institute that can work closely with the various departments and agencies of the central government. It is therefore important to create a new public research institute specializing in the matter. With such an institute established, the Korean government will be better able to develop and enforce more effective measures of population control programs and financing according to the national economic development plans. Placed under the supervision of the Economic Planning Board, such an institute will also be able to absorb the population research functions and manpower of other research institutions, and thereby add depth and expertise to the national population policy.
한국의 인구와 인구정책(Population policy in Korea)
|Series Title; No||인구총서|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Population|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|