Research in Brief

Fertility Intentions and Fertility Plans, and Their Policy Implications

  • Author

    Shin, Yoon-jeong

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Korea has recently shifted the focus of its population policy away from raising the total fertility rate to addressing the socio-structural factors of low fertility, toward a more encompassing goal of promoting the quality of life throughout the life course (Fourth Basic Plan for Low Fertility and Aging Society, December 2020).
The rationale behind such a shift in policy approach consists in the need for narrowing the gap between the desired fertility and the actual fertility, the idea that individuals’ quality of life can improve by realizing in life their desired fertility levels.
Both the ideal number of children and the expected number of children have, since as early as 1982, declined to below the period total fertility rate. With the shift in the focus of Korea’s population policy to helping people realize their desired fertility, the need has grown for concrete research into fertility intentions and fertility planning and into the demographic and socioeconomic factors that are at play in the process of women forming fertility intentions and realizing them. Korea’s policy on low fertility should be implemented, drawing on such research efforts, in such a way as to do away with factors that hamper people from realizing fertility intentions.


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