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Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 16:27
South Korea's fertility rate falls to all-time low in 2021
By Xinhua
Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 16:27 By Xinhua

Pedestrians walk across a road in Seoul on Oct 1, 2021. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)

SEOUL - South Korea's fertility rate fell to an all-time low last year due to the record-low childbirths, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The total fertility rate, which gauges the average number of babies that a woman is expected to have during her lifetime, stood at 0.81 in 2021, down from 0.84 the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.

The fertility rate in South Korea marked the lowest since data began to be compiled in 1970. The reading fell below 2 in 1984 with 1.74, skidding to 0.98 in 2018, 0.92 in 2019

It marked the lowest since data began to be compiled in 1970. The reading fell below 2 in 1984 with 1.74, skidding to 0.98 in 2018, 0.92 in 2019, and 0.84 in 2020.

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The number of newborn babies hit a new low of 260,500 in 2021, down 4.3 percent from the prior year.

Childbirths have been on the decline due to the growing social trend of delayed marriage and the lower number of women who are at childbearing age.

The number of marriages came to 192,500 in 2021, down 9.8 percent from a year earlier.

The average age of women for childbirth was 33.4 in 2021, up 0.2 from the previous year.

The low birth rate boosted concerns about the demographic cliff, which refers to a drop in the heads of households eventually leading to a consumption cliff.

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The number of deaths increased 4.2 percent over the year to 317,800 in 2021, marking the highest since 1970.

It was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid population aging.

The highest death and the lowest childbirth resulted in a reduction of 57,300 in the country's population last year. The population continued to slide for the second consecutive year.  


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