July 27, 2016 11:00
The number of marriages and births sank to record lows in the first five months of this year, Statistics Korea said Tuesday.
The number of childbirths stood at 34,400 in May, down 5.8 percent compared to the same month last year and the lowest for May since monthly statistics started in 2000.
Childbirth has been declining since December last year.
The cumulative number of childbirths in the first five months of this year stood at 182,300, the lowest since 2000 and down by almost a third over the last 16 years.
Marriages also dwindled to a record low of 25,500 in May, down 8.6 percent on-year. And the cumulative number from January until May this year sank to a record-low 119,700.
At this rate, 2016 should mark a record low in terms of both childbirths and marriages.
The number of deaths increased 1.3 percent in May to 23,200, while the number of divorces rose 10.8 percent to 9,200.
Lee Ji-yeon at Statistics Korea said, "The population of Koreans between 25 and 34, which is the prime age for marriage and childbirth, is declining, so the number of marriages is dropping apace."
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