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In an effort to improve the country’s low birth rate, South Korea is launching a high-speed train to connect the city of Seoul with the outer suburbs.

Long commutes are one of the reasons why young people in the greater Seoul area are not getting married or starting families.

Sky News reports that South Korea has the world’s lowest birth rate as the average number of expected babies for a South Korean woman during her child-bearing life fell to a record low of 0.72 from 0/78 in 2022. This is according to data from Statistics Korea.

Now, officials are hoping the Great Train eXpress’s (GTX) six lines linking Seoul to several of the outlying areas by 2035 will get people home earlier and encourage them to start families.

The city’s birth rate is the lowest in the country and has moved into a decline since 2006.

The GTX is costing the government almost 80 billion pounds.

A section of the first line was inaugurated by President Yoon Suk Yeol last week. The line will mean a commute from the Suseo area in Seoul to Dongtan, a popular township outside of the city, will take 19 minutes instead of 80 minutes on a bus.

Image credit: Railway PRO

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