Natural Increase/Decrease in the Subareas of South Korea: Is South Korea Following the Pattern of Japan?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 17:15
Location: Elise Richter Saal (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Nayoung HEO, Texas A&M University, USA
Of all the countries of Asia, only Japan has more deaths than births. In 2015 Japan reported having 8 births for every 10 deaths. South Korea, while currently having more births than deaths, i.e., 9 births for every 5 deaths, has a total fertility rate of 1.2 that is so low that the country will likely be following in the not too distant future the pattern of Japan, with more deaths than births.

Demographic research on natural increase and decrease indicates that it is at the subnational level of a country where natural decrease (more deaths than births) first begins to appear. Research on this topic at the subnational level in South Korea, is scarce if non-existent.

In our paper, we analyze the degree of natural increase/decrease among the 230 “counties” of South Korea for the years of the 21st century. We first describe the Rate of Natural Increase (RNI = crude birth rate minus crude death rate, divided by 10) for South Korea’s counties for the years of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. These descriptive analyses will inform us if some of South Korea’s counties are moving toward having more deaths than births, or perhaps may already be there. Then we will estimate two multivariate regression equations, one for the counties of South Korea for the year of 2000, the other for the year of 2015. The dependent variable will be the RNI and the independent variables will focus on age structure and fertility.  We hypothesize that as the proportion of elderly in a county increases, the RNI will decrease, and as the fertility rate of the county increases, the RNI will increase.