Korea's Fertility Rate Remains Lowest in the World

  • By Sun Jung-min

    July 21, 2022 11:41

    Korea's fertility rate is the world's lowest for the third year in a row.

    According to the UN Population Fund's annual report on Wednesday, Korea ranks at the bottom on the list of 198 countries with a total fertility rate of just 1.1 children born to a woman over her lifetime.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina, Puerto Rico and Singapore have the second lowest with 1.2 children. Many developed countries have a higher fertility rate than Korea -- France, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. 1.8, the U.K. 1.7, Germany 1.6, and Finland and Japan 1.4. Nigeria tops the list with 6.6 children, followed by Somalia (5.7).

    In terms of average life expectancy at birth, Koreans have the 12th longest with 83 years, about 10 years longer than the world average of 73.5. But Korea's population aged 0-14 is also just 12 percent due to the low birthrate, less than half of the world average of 25 percent. Japan and Singapore also rank low at 12 percent.

    The proportion of people over 65, on the other hand, stands at 17 percent, significantly higher than the world average of 10 percent.

    World population growth is estimated at one percent between 2020 and 2025, but Korea's population will stagnate at zero, down from a minuscule growth of 0.2 percent in the previous five years.

    Statistics Korea put the fertility rate even lower at 0.81 children last year.

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