July 26, 2018 12:57
The number of births dipped below the 30,000 mark in May. According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, 27,900 babies were born that month, down 7.9 percent from a year earlier.
It was the first time since statistics started in 1981 that fewer than 30,000 babies were born in May. On-year declines have continued for 30 months in a row.
The accumulated number of births until May was 145,000 this year, down 8.8 percent on-year. If the trend continues, only about 330,000 babies are expected to be born this year.
"The drop in the number of childbirths was affected by a decline in the numbers of female population aged 30-35, the most likely age group to give birth, and of marriages," Kim Jin of Statistics Korea said.
The number of births during the January-May period fell far short of the crude birthrate projected by the standard scenarios, which project the population to start declining in 2028.
Only around 25,000 couples married in May, down 7.1 percent on-year. Some 23,900 people died, up 0.4 percent, and 9,700 couples divorced, up 4.3 percent.
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