World News

South Korea launches high-speed train to help improve country’s birth rate by cutting travel times

[ad_1]

South Korea had a novel idea to solve one of its biggest problems: launching a high-speed train service.

The country has the lowest birth rate in the world in terms of the average number of children expected in a year. South Korean The mortality rate per woman during her reproductive life fell to a record low of 0.72 from 0.78 in 2022, according to data from Statistics Korea.

Young people complain about cramped living conditions and expensive housing in large Seoulas well as long journeys, as motivations for not marrying and starting a family.

Seoul’s birth rate is still below the national average and government efforts have failed to reverse the decline with subsidies – 360 trillion won (£213 billion) since 2006.

Authorities are counting on the Great Train eXpress (GTX) to raise fares that are expected to enable the provision of six lines connecting Seoul to several outlying areas by 2035.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol boards a train after a GTX-A opening ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, March 29, 2024. Yonhap via REUTERS THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.  NO RESALE.  NO ARCHIVES.  SOUTH KOREA OUT.  NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
Picture:
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol boards the train after his inauguration. Photo: Reuters

The government is spending 134 trillion won (£78.8 billion) on the project.

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday inaugurated a section of the first line, which will reduce travel time between Suseo, in the capital, and Dongtan township, south of Seoul, to 19 minutes from 80 minutes by bus .

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol boards a train after a GTX-A opening ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, March 29, 2024. Yonhap via REUTERS THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.  NO RESALE.  NO ARCHIVES.  SOUTH KOREA OUT.  NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
Picture:
Officials hope the project will increase fertility rates. Photo: Reuters

The branch is scheduled to open Saturday and when the GTX is fully operational, it will be one of the fastest underground systems in the world, with trains traveling at speeds of up to 182 mph, officials said.

Learn more:
South Korean opposition leader stabbed in neck
Squid Game actor found guilty of sexual harassment

“How can we make time for babies? »

Land Minister Park Sang-woo said the GTX would allow young people to consider settling far from the capital without having to spend hours commuting.

“With a two-hour commute home, for example, how can you find time for babies? The idea is to give people more free time after work,” he said.

South Korea is not the only region grappling with a rapidly aging population. The number of babies born in 2023 has fallen for the eighth consecutive year, hitting a record low in neighboring Japan, with China also facing population stagnation.

[ad_2]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button