Channel NewsAsia

South Korea ‘can go extinct’ by 2750 if low fertility rate remains

South Korea's parliament has been presented with the scenario that the country could go extinct by 2750, if the country's fertility rate stays at last year's 1.19 children.

SEOUL: South Korea's parliament has been presented with the scenario that the country could go extinct by 2750, if the country's fertility rate stays at last year's 1.19 children.

South Korea's population currently stands at about 50 million. But the population could fall to 20 million by the end of the century, if the country's fertility rate remains at the same level as in 2013.

South Korea's total fertility rate is one of the world's lowest, and only Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau are said to have lower fertility rates. If the country’s low fertility rate is maintained, the first city to go would be the southern port city of Busan in 2413.The simulation presented to the National Assembly also stated that the capital Seoul will go extinct by 2505.

The scenario paints a worrying picture, but some experts say there are other things to consider when looking at population size - like the question of possible reunification between South and North Korea - and possible changes in immigration policy.

South Korea's fertility rate could rebound. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the country's fertility rate has increased in recent years from a low of 1.08 children in 2005 to 1.19 last year.