July 31, 2019 11:52
Korea's birthrate is estimated at 0.89 to 0.9 this year. Last year the birthrate fell below one child per woman over her lifetime for the first time at 0.98, and now it could drop below 0.9.
According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, the number of newborns dropped 7.6 percent or 11,100 in the first five months of this year from a year ago.
Based on the data, Lee Sam-sik at Hanyang University estimated the number of births this year at between 298,200 and 301,740 and the birthrate at 0.89 to 0.9.
Early this year, Statistics Korea forecast that 325,000 babies will be born this year, which puts the birthrate at 0.94, but it seems to have declined more sharply than expected.
Measures by the government worth W12 trillion to tackle the low birthrate, including increasing child benefit, seem to be having no effect (US$1=W1,182).
The main reason for the sharp decline in births is that the number of marriages has been falling for eight years due to high youth unemployment.
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