August 19, 2010 11:30
Korea's population will begin to diminish in 2018 and become much more multiracial. According to a report by the Statistical Research Institute, the country's overall population will begin to drop significantly in eight years due to the low birthrate.
Korea had the world's lowest birthrate over the past 10 years, the report said. The country's birthrate reached similar levels as that of advanced nations in the mid-1980s but has been on a downward spiral since then, reaching 1.19 in 2008.
The country's population grew just 0.3 percent between 2005 and 2010, and by 2050 is projected to fall to 42.3 million, down 13 percent from 2009.
Meanwhile, with the steady rise in the number of marriages between immigrant women and Korean men since the late 1980s, demographers say the country's population will become increasingly heterogeneous in the years to come.
However, they point out that it will still take some time for the country to become a truly multicultural society, as discrimination toward certain ethnicities, especially those from developing countries, is still a problem in Korean society.
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