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S. Korea's total fertility rate hits record low of 0.98 in 2018

All Headlines 12:00 February 27, 2019

SEJONG, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's total fertility rate hit a record low of 0.98 in 2018, government data showed Wednesday, a clear warning that Asia's fourth-largest economy may face a population decline going forward.

The total fertility rate refers to the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime.

The 2018 figure is far below the replacement level of 2.1 that would keep South Korea's population stable at 51 million. It also represents a sharp drop from the 4.53 in 1970, when the government began to compile relevant data, according to Statistics Korea.

The crude birthrate -- the number of births per 1,000 people per year -- also came to an all-time low of 6.4 in 2018, down from the previous year's 7.

The number of newborns in South Korea came to 326,900 in 2018, down 8.6 percent or 30,900 from 2017, according to Statistics Korea. Last year's figure also marked the lowest number of newborns since record keeping began.

South Korea set aside 26.3 trillion won in 2018 to tackle the low birthrate, up from 24.1 trillion won in 2017, according to the Presidential Committee on Aging Society and Population Policy.

S. Korea's total fertility rate hits record low of 0.98 in 2018 - 1

entropy@yna.co.kr
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