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Old 08-18-2015, 05:37 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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SOUTH KOREA

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/08..._LID=164548916

Quote:
(Bloomberg) — It’s only twenty years ago that South Korea was so intent on population control that getting sterilized put young couples on the fast track for public housing. Even the army was in on the act, offering a free pass from annual military training to any man willing to shuffle off for a vasectomy.

In the space of a generation, everything has changed. Korea’s population is aging rapidly and its workforce is shrinking. The number of people aged 15 to 64 will peak at 37 million next year, and then steadily drop. After the rapid gains in efficiency that saw the rise of industrial powerhouses like Hyundai Motor Co. and Samsung Electronics Co., improvements in labor productivity are also getting harder to find.

Under this mounting pressure, the economy’s potential growth rate could slip by a percentage point to 2.2 percent in the 2020s. The government says the next few years may be the last real chance to escape the demographic trap, and President Park Geun Hye’s administration will release a blueprint next month for a five-year plan to tackle aging and the low birth rate.

It will have to address a workplace culture that isn’t geared to women balancing a career with child-rearing, and to find ways to help couples, who are marrying later, to have kids and raise a family.

At the other end of the spectrum, government efforts to stimulate consumer spending are being challenged by the swelling ranks of seniors. Average life expectancy is above 80 and older people are trying to save more and spend less during their ever-longer years of retirement.

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