Can East Asia Adapt to an Increasingly Gray Future?

A group of elderly people play gate ball at a park in Goyang, South Korea, Nov. 28, 2020 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).
A group of elderly people play gate ball at a park in Goyang, South Korea, Nov. 28, 2020 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).
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Data released earlier this year showed that South Korea’s fertility rate is now the world’s lowest, at 0.84 births per woman in 2020, contributing to the country’s first-ever population decline. Other major powers in the region—including China and Japan, the world’s No. 2 and No. 3 economies, respectively—also have rapidly graying populations.  On the Trend Lines podcast this week, Ronald D. Lee, a demographer and economist at the University of California, Berkeley, joined WPR’s Elliot Waldman to discuss the implications of East Asia’s demographic transition, and what policies can be implemented to address it.  Listen to the full conversation here: […]

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