South Korea on the ropes:
I refer to the Economist again. (I don’t Economist vol. 416 no. 8948 July 25, 2015 page 31) In the capital of South Korea 16% of households are singles living alone.  And the country is socially conservative.  Four in ten adults are single, the highest proportion in the rich world.  Smell trouble?  In the past 20 years age at marriage for women has risen on average from 25 to 30 or a year every four years.  That’s slower than Sweden, but it does mean getting go 38 in another thirty years or so.  Then the biology must have changed or the babies will stop. 

There’s a lot of social support for the singles, although it is not keeping up. 

South Korea is rich with average income $11,350.  The birth rate is 1.25 per woman.  North Korea is poor at $1,000 to $2,000 per person.  The birth rate is 2 per woman.  That’s not so hot either; it is not enough for survival, but it is higher.  And that’s the story across the board; more money and education means fewer babies.  As I harp upon, it’s because there is more opportunity for meeting non cousins.

There is a splendid book Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.  My memory is not good, but as I remember it contains this exchange:

“He’s dead.”

“But look at all the money he has.”

“He doesn’t have any money.  He’s dead.” 

“Then his parents will get the money.”

“His parents don’t want money.  They’re rich.”

“Then they’ll understand.”

Well I guess everybody is rich but me.  I don’t understand.

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