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S. Korea's population continues to decline in first quarter: ministry data

National 16:23 April 07, 2021

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's population continued to decrease during the first quarter of this year as deaths outnumbered births, government data showed Wednesday.

As of March 31, the nation's registered population stood at 51,705,905, down 0.24 percent from 51,829,023 tallied at the end of 2020, when the population fell for the first time on record, according to census figures from the Ministry of Interior and Safety.

S. Korea's population continues to decline in first quarter: ministry data - 1

Natural decrease accounted for 10,370 while the remaining 116,177 people were deregistered after a residency survey. The number of newborns totaled 68,099, surpassed by 78,469 deaths during the three months.

The number of births decreased 7.6 percent from the same period of last year and 45.7 percent from 10 years ago. The number of deaths dropped 3.5 percent from the same period of last year, but increased 15.5 percent from a decade ago.

Women outnumbered men by 25,918,515 (50.1 percent) to 25,787,390 (49.9 percent), down 0.27 percent and 0.21 percent, respectively, from the end of last year.

The data also showed the number of youths continued to decline while the number of seniors increased.

At the end of the first quarter, there were 7.65 million children (0-17 years), 8.46 million adolescents and youths (9-24 years), and 10.45 million young adults (19-34 years), making up 14.8 percent, 16.4 percent and 20.2 percent of the total population and down 2.8 percent, 2.7 percent, and 1.1 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.

In contrast, the number of people aged 65 and older increased 4.7 percent year-on-year to 8.57 million, accounting for 16.6 percent. The number of seniors exceeded that of adolescents and youths for the first time.

The number of households increased to a record high of 23,157,385, up 0.28 percent from the end of 2020.

The size of households shrank to an average of 2.23 persons, compared with 2.24 at the end of last year. The number of single-person households stood at 9,139,287, making up 39.5 percent of the total, the highest on record.

Of 17 metropolises and provinces, only Gyeonggi Province and the city of Sejong reported an increase in population. Seoul saw its population drop by 69,981.

With 26,000,782 residents, Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon accounted for 50.2 percent of the total population.

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