S.Korea district to host mass blind dates to boost birthrate

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The Independent Online

Seoul's Gangnam district, South Korea's most prosperous area, has a single imperfection -- one of the country's lowest birthrates.

(AFP) -

Seoul's Gangnam district, South Korea's most prosperous area, has a single imperfection - one of the country's lowest birthrates.

Now the district government, which already provides cash incentives for couples to have more babies, is arranging mass blind dates for singles.

On Saturday, 30 men and 30 women living or working in the area will be brought together in an attempt to help them find partners, the Gangnam district office said in a statement.

The singles, aged 27 to 40, include schoolteachers, company employees and professionals.

They will take part in various games and will have the chance to chat in small groups before picking three people they wish to meet again.

"Being so busy with work, they have little chance to meet the opposite sex," a district official said. Gangnam will arrange the mass blind dates three times every year.

South Korea has one of the world's lowest birthrates at 1.19 babies per woman of reproductive age.

To encourage couples to have more babies, the district offers one million won (854 dollars) for a second child, five million won for a third and 10 million won for a fourth.

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