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(LEAD) Births, weddings dip to lowest levels in May

All News 15:30 July 26, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with childbirth tally; CHANGES headline)

SEJONG, July 26 (Yonhap) -- The number of marriages and childbirths in South Korea dropped to an all-time seasonal low in May, official data showed Tuesday.

The number of newborns fell 5.8 percent on-year to 34,400 during the month, according to Statistics Korea.

It is the lowest for May since the agency began compiling related data in 2000.

The number of childbirths declined for the sixth consecutive month amid growing concerns over the nation's shrinking and aging population.

Marriages also plunged 8.6 percent to 25,500 in May, the lowest level since 2000.

Only a total of 24,000 couples got married in the first five months of this year, down 7.3 percent from a year earlier.

"It appears attributable to a decrease in the population of women of childbearing age and an ensuing decline in the number of marriages," Lee Jie-youn, head of the agency's population trend team, said.

The number of deaths and divorces climbed 1.3 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively, on-year to 23,200 and 9,200 in May.

Meanwhile, the number of South Koreans changing their residences dropped nearly 13 percent on-year in June as the housing market showed signs of a slowdown, said the state statistics body.

A total of 567,000 South Koreans changed their residences in June, down 83,000, or 12.8 percent, from a year earlier

Among them, 67.6 percent moved within their cities or provinces, while 32.4 percent switched to other areas.

The population mobility rate -- the number of those changing residence for every 100 people -- shed 0.18 percentage point to 1.1 percent over the same period.

"The population mobility trend is closely linked with the housing market," Lee pointed out. "Home trade data show that it slowed nationwide in June in general, as the government tightened regulations on mortgage loans in a bid to reduce household debt."

A net 12,064 people moved out of Seoul, while a net 10,215 people moved to Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital. Housing prices in the province are usually lower than those in Seoul.

In the second quarter of 2016, meanwhile, a total of 1.72 million people moved their residences, down 0.39 percent on-year.


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