October 26, 2017 10:18
The number of births hit a record low for the month of August as all efforts at increasing the birthrate appear doomed to failure.
Some 30,200 babies were born across the country in August, down a whopping 10.9 percent on-year, Statistics Korea said Wednesday. In August 2000, as many as 50,163 children were born, but the number has been declining unevenly since.
Busan saw the sharpest drop at 13.9 percent, followed by Seoul (13.8 percent), Incheon (13.4 percent), and Ulsan and South Jeolla Province (13.3 percent). Sejong was the only region where the birthrate increased in August at 4.5 percent.
The fall is related to a decrease in marriages. Only 281,635 couples tied the knot last year, down seven percent from the previous year and below 300,000 for the first time.
The main reasons are that young people are delaying marriage for financial reasons and the under-30 population is already dwindling. This August 20,100 couples got married, down a whopping 12.6 percent on-year.
Statistics Korea has projected that the country's population will start dwindling in 2032 and halve by 2085, but at this rate this could happen much sooner.
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