Yonsei Med J.  1963 Dec;4(1):77-102. 10.3349/ymj.1963.4.1.77.

A Survey of Fertility and Attitude Toward Family Planning in Rural Korea

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


This is a first report on an interview study of fertility and attitude toward family planning among a systematic random sample of about 1,000 couples in Korean rural area. More specifically, the authors analyzed the replies to the five important questions in fertility control; (1) the level of fertility, (2) the ideal family size, (3) the family planning limitation factors, (4) the prevalence of conception control and (5) the attitude towards the use of contraceptives. It was found that the level of reproductive performance has remained high with the total fertility rate of 7 or more, while their ideal family size revealed at the interview was 3 to 5. Such an excess fertility has not been well controlled by delaying of the age of marriage and/or by spacing birth, but the most prominent factors in limiting the family size has been the high mortality of children especially in infancy. As the infant mortality rate is declining, the family limitation is now practiced by the increasing rate of induced abortion. The practice of modern contraceptive method was low in prevalence, and if they were in use a high proportion were known to have begun the practice only after having their desired number of children(3 to 5). Family planning information was widespread and general1y accepted by the informed population. Also the majority of the respondents desired to learn (60%) and to practice (55%) the family planning. However, they were unable to practice it mainly due to the lack of detailed knowledge and instructions. This points out the need for proper education for developing the active family planning program in Korean rural area.

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