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South Korea struggles to spend its way to more births

High costs and conservative views on women leave young people feeling trapped

High school students cheer for seniors taking college entrance examinations. South Korea's focus on educational credentials makes having children a costly proposition.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A rare bright spot in South Korea's approach to fixing its grim population trends can be found in a rural county roughly in the center of the country.

Uiseong County, in North Gyeongsang Province, was considered the district most at risk of disappearing as recently as 2018. Now some young urbanites are gravitating to its country towns, thanks to an exceptional relocation package the county began offering in 2019 -- complete with housing, benefits and entrepreneurship opportunities.

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