April 27, 2018 12:42
Korea's youth population aged 9 to 24 has fallen below 9 million, according to census figures released by Statistics Korea on Thursday.
It accounts for 17.4 percent or 8.99 million of the entire population of 51.64 million.
In 1970 it stood at 11.33 million and reached a peak of 14.21 million in 1982. By 2020 it is expected to plunge to 8.52 million and by 2030 to 6.99 million, Statistics Korea predicted.
Among them, 109,000 children and youngsters are of mixed ethnicity, up 10.3 percent on-year, rising more than 10,000 a year over the past five years.
The decline in the youth population is expected to take a heavy toll on economic growth.
"The youth population will dwindle dramatically due to the super-low birthrate," said Prof. Cho Young-tae of Seoul National University. "That's very worrisome as sources of major economic activities are becoming scarce."
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