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Ingu Pogon Nonjip. 1984 Dec;4(2):3-27.

[Recent changes in contraceptive use and fertility in Korea].

[Article in Korean]



In order to achieve planned demographic targets set for the period 1982-86, the government announced a new comprehensive population control policy in December 1981. This new set of policies calls for: 1) improving the current operation and management systems of the national family planning program; 2) strengthening the innovative social support policies including the incentive and disincentive schemes which encourage the small family; 3) integrating the family planning programs with other developed programs; and 4) establishing an end to these programs. As a result of government efforts to set up population measures, the number of those undergoing sterilization with 2 or fewer children and the contraceptive acceptance rate have increased greatly since 1982. The contraceptive practice rate for those ages 15-44 went to 58% in 1982. The total fertility rate dipped from 2.7 births/woman in 1981 to 2.4 in 1983. However, regional differentials in fertility rates are clearly observed. The urban fertility rate is lower than the rural and the regional differentials in fertility seem to derive from the strong son preference which is quite prevalent in the rural sector. The increase in contraceptive practice rate has contributed to the improvement of maternal health by preventing induced abortion. Since the inception of the family planning slogan focusing on the 1-child family, the proportion of respondents who said 1 child was enough rose from 16% in 1982 to 65% in 1984. With appropriate incentives, this figure is likely to increase. What remains is to lower the fertility rate for those in the 20-29 age group who currently account for over 80% of the total annual births. The current program management systems must recruit new acceptors among the younger age groups and must persuade them to resort to temporary contraceptive methods for birth spacing. The social support policies must be strengthened by providing preferential treatment for those with only 1 child and eliminating the son preference. The commercial sector programs must also be strengthened by providing preferential treatment to the contraceptive manufacturing companies and by providing educational programs for private physicians and pharmacists. Among the future directions mentioned above, Korea's foremost population control policy should address the eradication of son preference by instituting bold socal support policies including incentive systems for the 1 child family. (author's modified)

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