Number of Newborns Drops to All-Time Low Last Year

Write : 2018-08-22 13:26:10 Update : 2018-08-22 14:02:18

Number of Newborns Drops to All-Time Low Last Year

Anchor: Despite the government's efforts to tackle the country's chronically low birth rate, the number of babies born in South Korea dropped to an all-time low of just over 357-thousand last year. The country's total fertility rate also fell to its lowest and broke the one-point-one mark for the first time in 12 years.
Choi You Sun has the details.

Report: In an annual birth report released Wednesday, Statistics Korea said 357-thousand-800 babies were born in 2017, down 48-thousand-500 or eleven-point-nine percent from the previous year.

It is the first time since the statistics agency started recording the annual number of births in 1970 that the number of newborns fell below 400-thousand.

The country's total fertility rate or the number of babies a woman is projected to have during her lifetime also plunged to an all-time low of one-point-05 last year, down point-12 from 2016.

The last time the fertility rate fell below one-point-one was in 2005, when it was one-point-08.

While the crude birth rate, which refers to the number of births per one-thousand people per year, declined to an all-time low of seven last year, the drop was the most apparent among women in their early 30s.

The latest data also showed South Koreans were delaying plans to start families.

The average age of women that had given birth was 32-point-six-years-old, up point-two years, while women aged 35 or older took up 29-point-four percent of the total number of women who gave birth, up three percentage points.

Married couples having their first baby within two years of marriage was down two-point-three percentage points at 65-point-eight percent.

There is growing concern over the country's growth potential, as the birth rate continues to fall amid a rapidly aging population.

The South Korean government, which has already injected 80 trillion won into tackling the birth rate issue, will have to come up with other ways to encourage South Koreans to have more children.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : KBS News]

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