In the list of population-declining regions nationwide that were selected and announced by the government, Jeju was found to be the only province among the nine provinces to not have a single region included on the list.
Last month, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety designated and announced 89 “population-declining regions” in order to effectively respond to the crisis of population decline in various regions.
The designation of population-declining regions is intended to prevent the damaging cycle caused by natural factors of population decline and social factors of outward migration from damaging the vitality of local communities.
The Ministry of the Interior and Safety collaborated with specialized research institutes to collect opinions from experts in various sectors and consult related government agencies in order to develop a population decline indicator and finalize the list of population-declining regions.
The findings reflect eight core indicators including the annual average rate of population change, population density, youth migration rate, daytime population, population aging rate, ratio of youth, crude birth rate, and fiscal independence rate.
Among the nine provinces, Jeju was the only province to not be included in the list. By province, Gyeongbuk and Jeonnam Provinces marked the highest number of population-declining regions at 16 regions, followed by Gangwon with 12, Gyeongnam with 11, Jeonbuk with 10, Chungnam with 9, Chungbuk with 6, and Gyeonggi with 2.
Among the eight metropolitan cities, Busan, Daegu and Incheon made the list, with three in Busan, and two each in Daegu and Incheon. Seoul Special City was excluded in accordance with the Special Act on Balanced National Development.
The government announced its intent to provide these regions with fiscal and administrative support to help them avoid population extinction and plans to alleviate the issue by directing the focus of the regional extinction response fund, which will be newly established next year at a scale of 1 trillion won.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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