In today’s lead story at the Chosun Ilbo (Korean), the National Assembly Research Service announced the results of a projection based on a simulation that Korea’s population faces extinction by 2750 if the current low birthrate persists. A New Politics Alliance for Democracy lawmaker, Yang Seung-jo, requested the projection.
The National Assembly Research Service based its projection on the assumption and apparently assumed that last year’s birthrate of 1.19 children per woman would continue. “David Coleman of Oxford University warned back in 2006 that Korea’s low birthrate is so serious that it could become the first nation in the world to become extinct.”
Under the National Research Service’s projection, Korea’s present population of 50 million will contract to 40 million in 2056, to 20 million (“similar to the population in 1930 during the Japanese occupation”) in 2100, to 10 million by 2136, to three million by 2200, to one million by 2256, “…gradually becoming extinct over the next 500 years.”
The National Assembly Research Service on Friday said, “should last year’s birthrate of 1.19 children per woman continue, Korea’s population of 50 million will… become extinct by 2750.”
I excerpted the following from the Chosun Ilbo article:
Barring a major population migration within the country, the southern port city of Busan would be the first to become empty of people, according to the simulation. The last survivor of Busan will be born in 2413, and the last Seoulite in 2505. Busan is not only graying rapidly, but is seeing a rapid decrease in the number of young and middle-aged residents.
The National Assembly Research Service apparently employed a sophisticated algorithm in formulating their projection. I spent considerable time between two consecutive sips of coffee to reverse engineer their algorithm from their results. The assumed 1.19 birthrate per woman means that the number of new births would halve with each generation. Halving 50 million a little over 25 (∼25.76) times results in one. So in approximately 25 generations, and if I assume 30 years per generation, or 750 years from now, Koreans will become extinct on the Korean peninsula. That’s how the “simulation” projected the year 2750.
Absurdity such as the above is the reason I belabor methodology in my posts about studies. Every bit as important as results is the methodology in obtaining those results. I can make any study say anything I want by altering the methodology.
…which brings me to the real points of this blog entry:
- To what end did the NPAD lawmaker want the results of this study to show that Koreans will go extinct by 2750? (Follow the money, but to where will it lead?)
- Why did a newspaper whose ideology so closely aligns with the rival Saenuri Party publish such a ridiculous result for this NPAD lawmaker? (OK, this one might be easy.)
- How do I gets me some of that government large-ass for publishing studies with results so transparently beholden to some interest that any sense of shame I would normally feel is easily assuaged by that sweet large-ass? (Seriously.)