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Childbirths down 6.5 pct in July

All News 12:00 September 25, 2019

SEJONG, Sept. 25 (Yonhap) -- The number of newborns in South Korea slipped 6.5 percent in July from a year earlier, government data showed Wednesday, in yet another reminder of the chronically low birthrate that has plagued Asia's fourth-largest economy for more than a decade.

The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that 25,263 babies were born in July, down from 27,033 in the same month a year earlier. The figure has been falling on-year for 40 consecutive months.

It marked the lowest level for any July since the agency started compiling the data in 1981. The number of newborns was more than 50,000 in July 1998.

The decline in childbirths apparently came as a rising number of young South Koreans are avoiding getting married amid economic hardship.

Other factors include the high cost of private education and skyrocketing home prices, as well as the difficulties women face in finding jobs after spending an extended period away from work to raise children.

The number of couples tying the knot came to 19,180 in July, down 4.5 percent from a year earlier. The number of divorced couples, on the other hand, increased 1.8 percent over the period to 9,497.

South Korea's total fertility rate, the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime, hit a record low of 0.98 last year, much lower than the replacement level of 2.1 that would keep South Korea's population stable at 51 million.

Statistics Korea forecast that the country's population is likely to reach 39 million in 2067, sharply down from an estimated 51.7 million in 2019.

Childbirths down 6.5 pct in July - 1


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