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The National Assembly Futures Institute publishes reports that predict and analyze the changes in the future environment based on a comprehensive perspective, and derive mid- to long-term national development strategies in consideration of the preferences of the citizens
(21-08) Evaluation of response policies for low birth rates and an aging society

Date : 2021-12-31 item : Research Report 20-08 P.I : Lee Chae-jeong

(21-08) Evaluation of response policies for low birth rates and an aging society

This report examines the distribution of social risks by life cycle, conducts a meta-evaluation using the results from a performance evaluation of policies included in the government's Basic Plan for Low Fertility and Aged Society from 2007 to 2018, and analyzes the distribution and gaps of regional social services for children and the elderly. By evaluating the policies developed in response to the low birth rate and aging of society, the report derived the following implications.

First, the study found that material poverty, which refers to direct poverty experiences and income poverty, is related to physical and mental health and suicide. However, the government's policies have not reflected policy issues that required policy intervention, such as mental health or suicide risk. Further, there were no policy implementation tasks related to the establishment and management of delivery systems, which are essential for alleviating problems through the provision of various social services. Overall, the provision of cash benefits, such as income security policies, as well as a systematic policy mix should be prepared by making linkages with various social services, including education, medical care, and housing.

Second, the budget execution rate for policies that target children, adolescents, and middle-aged people is low, so it is necessary to analyze policies that target these groups by type to seek improvement measures in the policy planning and execution stage. These results suggest that when implementing government policies, a high proportion of the budget was invested in those policies that target the elderly, so that the Basic Plan for Low Fertility and Aged Society may have been promoted for the elderly after retirement.

Third, considering that the degree of achievement of policies for the middle-aged is insufficient, it is necessary to strengthen policies for middle-aged adults in the future. Given the social shock that resulted from the retirement of middle-aged adults, and the subsequent increase of the elderly population, it is necessary to establish a strategy that eases the transition to a super-aged society through various social policies for the middle-aged.

Fourth, with respect to income security policies, the budget execution rate was lower than that of other policies, but the target achievement rate was higher. Further, it will be easier to achieve goals of income security policies when compared with other policies because there are many cash transfer policies, such as the child allowance and basic pension. However, to change the overall social structure and to develop an infrastructure that responds to future population changes in society, it is necessary to identify measures to improve the target achievement rates for health, medical, job, and settlement projects with low target execution rates. In addition, it is necessary to examine the possible policy changes that could be triggered by demographic changes, so that income security policies – which receive continuous investments in the form of large budgets – can be efficiently implemented.

Fifth, it is necessary to analyze the distribution of and gaps in major social services by region to identify ways to establish and operate an efficient social service delivery system in response to changes in the demographic structure. When looking at the distribution and gap analysis results of major social services that target children and the elderly, it was found that different approaches are needed to reorganize the social service delivery system based on the type and region of service provided. Considering the distribution of the population by region, measures need to be implemented in areas where the expectations on service providers are excessive; alternatives are needed to inform the quantitative and qualitative expansion and adjustment of delivery systems by service type.