Elementary Schools Close Nationwide: Data

Lower birth rate means fewer young students.

Elementary Schools Close Nationwide: Data

Credit: Public domain.

South Korea’s school year typically begins in March and ends in December. As schools reopen this month, 157 elementary schools nationwide have zero new students enrolled, as South Korea’s birth rate continues to plummet. Rural areas are the hardest hit: in Jeollabuk-do Province 전라북도 there are 34 elementary schools with no new students; while Gyeongsangbuk-do Province 경상북도, 27, and Gangwon-do Province 강원도 each have 25 such elementary schools. 

Little relief is in sight. Approximately 369k children will enter first grade in South Korea this year, but with the number of children born in 2023 around 230k, school enrollments are expected to decline by more than 33% over the next several years.

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