"Gray nation”, where more than seven percent of its population is above 65 – the standard age for elderly people according to most developed countries – before it has grown rich.The term “graying of Korea” refers to the fact that the Korean population is steadily becoming more dominated by older people. In other words, the median age of Koreans is going up.
Over the last 60 years, South Korea has undergone the most rapid fertility decline in recorded human history. In 1960, the nation’s total fertility rate – the number of children, on average, that a woman has during her reproductive years – stood at just under six children per woman. In 2022, that figure was 0.78. South Korea has registered a fertility rate of less than one child per woman, and others – Ukraine, China, Japan, Italy, France and Spain – are close. In fact without immigrants and subsidizing births ALL European countries would be below replacement levels!
As of 2022, women in Korea receive a payment of 2 million won ($1,510) after giving birth. The Yoon government made the decision to provide children under the age of one 700,000 won ($528) and those under the age of two 350,000 won ($264) a month in 2023.South Korea's problem is more acute than most. Last year, its fertility rate dropped to a record low of 0.78 – not even half the 2.1 needed for a stable population and far below even that of Japan (1.3), currently the world's grayest nation. In Asia only the Philippines is seeing robust child birth perhaps because of the clearly dominant African genetics of the population. There are quite a few others countries like Korea that have high percentages of their citizens aged 65 years and over as well. Some of these are Germany, Finland, Bulgaria, Sweden, Latvia and Malta. At the other end of the spectrum are developing countries, mostly in Africa, with young, growing populations and expanding workforces. It may be many decades before they face the strains of an ageing population.
We face a threat more grave and certain than those posed by chemical weapons, nuclear proliferation, or ethnic strife: the "age wave." As life expectancy grows and fertility rates decline, senior citizens will make up an ever-larger share of the total population. The effects of this demographic shift will be staggering. It will come with a whopping price tag, which will place a massive burden on an ever-smaller working-age population. Economic, social, and even military policy throughout the next century will have to respond to this unalterable trend. Unless the West recognizes the challenges to come and devises a strategy to meet them, the future will be gray and bleak. By 2050, one in four people or more in Europe and Asia will be over 65 years old.
By the year 2030, one billion people on the planet will be over the age of 65. Plus, for the first time in history, the number of those who are older than 50 will be greater than those under 17.