May 22, 2009 13:10
South Korea ranks at the very bottom of the global birthrate list for the second year, according to statistics released by the World Health Organization on Thursday. South Korea had an average of 1.2 babies per woman of reproductive age based on 2007 figures, the lowest among 193 countries. Eight countries shared the bottom place, including Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.
South Korea was also at the bottom last year with the same birthrate along with Belarus, the Czech Republic and Poland. The rate has been dropping from 1.6 in 1990 and 1.4 in 2000. In North Korea, the birthrate was 2.4 in 1990 and 2 in 2000, dropping to 1.9 in 2006 and 2007.
Most figures were the same as last year, with Niger and Afghanistan topping the list with 7.2 and 7.1, down slightly from last year's 7.3 and 7.2. But those countries find themselves at the bottom of the list in terms of average life expectancy with 51 and 42 years, respectively.
The United States had an average fertility rate of 2.1, the same as last year, and France and U.K. also maintained last year's figure of 1.9 and 1.8. Scandinavian countries -- Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden -- posted 1.8, the same as last year. As for the BRICs countries, India and Brazil maintained last year's figure of 2.8 and 2.3, and China and Russia recorded 1.7 and 1.3.
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