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Childbirths hit all-time low in Q2; deaths climb to record high

All News 12:00 August 24, 2022

SEJONG, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- The number of babies born in South Korea hit a record low in the second quarter, while deaths rose to an all-time high in the cited period amid rapid aging and the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

A total of 59,961 babies were born in the April-June period, down 9.3 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea. It marked the lowest number for any second quarter since the statistics agency started compiling related data in 1981.

South Korea has faced a chronic decline in childbirths as many young people delay or give up on getting married or having babies in the face of an economic slowdown and high home prices, combined with changing social norms about marriage.

The country's total fertility rate -- the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime -- came to 0.75 child in the second quarter, down from 0.82 from a year ago. It marked the lowest for any second quarter.

In June, the number of newborns came to 18,830, down 12.4 percent from a year ago.

A public postnatal care center in the southeastern port city of Ulsan (Yonhap)

A public postnatal care center in the southeastern port city of Ulsan (Yonhap)

The impact of rapid aging and the pandemic drove up the number of deaths to a record high in the second quarter.

A total of 90,406 people died in the cited period, up 20.5 percent from a year earlier. It marked the highest figure for any second quarter.

In June, the number of deaths also rose 1.9 percent on-year to a record high of 24,850. The tally marked the 16th straight month of increase.

As the number of deaths outpaced that of births, the nation's population declined by 6,019 in June, marking the 32nd consecutive month of fall.

South Korea reported the first natural fall in its population in 2020, as the grim demographic trend has continued.

Meanwhile, the number of marriages fell 1.1 percent on-year to 47,734 in the second quarter, the data showed.

More people have postponed or delayed their weddings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, marriages fell 8.2 percent on-year to 14,898.

Divorces fell 11.7 percent on-year to 23,156 in the April-June period. In June, divorces declined 13.2 percent to 7,586.

A senior couple sit by a lake in Gwangju, about 270 kilometers south of Seoul, in the July 4, 2022, file photo. (Yonhap)

A senior couple sit by a lake in Gwangju, about 270 kilometers south of Seoul, in the July 4, 2022, file photo. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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