According to the Framework Act on Low Fertility Rates and Aging Society, the government develops a Framework Plan to Address Low Fertility Rates and Population Aging every five years. The central government’s budget on such measures has continued to increase from KRW 1.0 trillion in 2006 to KRW 42.9 trillion in 2021. However, despite the government's ongoing efforts, the declining pace of the total fertility rate has been accelerating since 2016, and from 2018, the rate has fallen to less than one birth per woman.
This analysis shows that some budget allocations unrelated to fighting low fertility rates, of which the detailed budget items were difficult to categorize, were included in the budget for policy responses to low fertility. Moreover, the budget failed to be managed on a continual basis because programs change every year.
In this respect, the government should consider setting the policy scope to focus on core tasks while utilizing existing measures such as supports for youths and women experiencing career interruption, as needed. In addition, by labeling the core projects within the program budgeting system, the government should explore ways to manage any net changes in related support systems. Regarding policy implementation governance, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), and other administrative agencies should spearhead relevant policies addressing low fertility rates to enhance their responsibility for such measures.