Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO, has stepped forward to issue some hefty praise to South Korea for their plan to issue a significant monthly allowance to the parents of newborn children.
A new budget proposal handed down by legislators seeks to battle the country’s worryingly low fertility rates by tripling the currently instated monthly “parent pay” to 1 million won, which equates to about $740, for each newborn child, as recently stated in a report from Bloomberg. The altered stimulus would then be cut in half and go on for an additional year once the infant turns one.
“Important. South Korea is currently tracking to lose about half its population roughly every generation,” explained Musk via a social media post. “Long lifespan hides the dire nature of the problem.”
The billionaire CEO has also made sure to highlight the threats of “population collapse” in bother China and Japan, noting that China is recently sported its lowest birth rate “ever last year” despite its rollback of the internationally infamous one-child policy, while Japan could just “cease to exist” unless “something changes.”
In the same vein, quite a few more developed countries are dealing with fertility rates far below the standard replacement levels. The average number of births per woman in South Korea has dropped to a worrying 0.8 as of 2020, which has been stated by data gathered by the World Bank, while fertility across the globe had been more slowly dropping from roughly 5 births per woman in 1960 to where it sits at 2.4 births per woman as of 2020.
Last year, the population within the United States also grew at the slowest pace since the founding of the country, as stated in a report from the Census Bureau. Just 17.8% of America’s 130 million households can claim to have married parents with children, a drop from where it sat at 40% back in 1970.
Over the past few months, Musk has criticized, quite repeatedly, the idea that the world could struggle due to underpopulation. “I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birthrate and the rapidly declining birthrate,” stated Musk while attending a conference last year. “And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control. It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers — if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”
The governments of other nations have set up various incentives to try and raise birth rates. Just last month, Russia — which sports 1.6 births per woman on average — set back up its “Mother Heroine” award to honor women who bear ten or more kids. The 1 million ruble incentive, which equates to just about $16,600, constitutes 150% of the country’s average annual salary. Any family eligible for the award must raise kids with an “appropriate level of care for health, education, physical, spiritual and moral development,” as stated by a release from the Russian government.