February 25, 2021 09:36
Korea's total fertility rate or the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime stands at a mere 0.84, Statistics Korea said Wednesday.
That makes Korea the least fertile country among 198 countries around the world, according to UN Population Fund statistics, and the only one in the OECD with a fertility rate of less than one child.
Births declined further amid the coronavirus epidemic, reducing the birthrate to just 0.75 in the fourth quarter.
The population declined because births were vastly outnumbered by deaths. If the trend continues, the population will more than halve over the next 30 years.
The country's population declined by 33,000 last year and shrank in 11 of the 17 provinces and cities nationwide except Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, Incheon, Ulsan, the administrative city of Sejong, and Jeju Island.
Only 213,513 couples tied the knot last year, down 25,646 or 10.7 percent on-year.
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