Credit: Public domain.
One major reason for South Korea’s low birth rate is that Korean women are increasingly marrying late: the average age of South Korean women marrying for the first time was 31.3 in 2022, the highest ever. Later marriages have made egg-freezing an increasingly popular option. According to a survey by the Cha Medical Group 차병원, 69.8% of unmarried women and 64% of married women said they wished to freeze their eggs.
The hospital group, South Korea’s largest healthcare company known for fertility and maternity care, has seen a dramatic rise in the number of patients seeking to freeze their eggs, which rose to 1,131 in 2022 from only 599 in 2019. Starting in September, the Seoul city government will subsidize up to KRW 2m (USD 1.5k) of egg-freezing costs in an attempt to boost the city’s birth rate, which is the lowest in the nation.