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S. Korea's childbirths hit another record low in Feb.

All News 12:00 April 27, 2022

SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) -- The number of babies born in South Korea fell to another record low in February, data showed Wednesday, illustrating the country's gloomy demographic situation and chronically low birthrate.

A total of 20,654 babies were born in February, down 3.2 percent from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It marked the lowest for any February since 1981, when the statistics agency began compiling related data.

South Korea is struggling with a chronic decline in childbirths as many young people delay or give up on getting married or having babies amid a prolonged economic slowdown and skyrocketing housing prices.

The country's total fertility rate -- the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime -- hit an all-time low of 0.81 last year, down from 0.84 a year ago. It marked the fourth straight year the rate was below 1 percent.

This file photo shows a public postnatal care center in the southeastern port city of Ulsan. (Yonhap)

The number of deaths rose for the 12th consecutive month in February amid rapid aging and the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said.

The number of deaths came to 29,189 in the month, up 22.7 percent from a year earlier.

It marked the highest for any February since 1983, when the agency started compiling related data. It also represented the fastest on-year gain.

Accordingly, the country's population declined by 8,535 in February, marking the 28th straight month of decline.

South Korea reported the first natural decline in population in 2020, as the number of deaths outpaced that of births.

The country's total population declined for the first time last year, due to the low birthrate, rapid aging and a fall in incoming foreigners over the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the number of people getting married rose 2.2 percent on-year to 15,308 due largely to a low base effect.

Amid the downtrend of marriages, more people postponed or delayed their weddings due to the coronavirus pandemic, the agency said.

Divorces declined 8 percent on-year to 7,136, the data showed.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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