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South Korea Records Lowest Birth Rate in 2016

By February 22, 2017 at 4:56 am
Birth rate in South Korea drops to all time low in 2016 (Photo : Getty Images)

While many underdeveloped and densely populated countries are struggling with population control, South Korea battles with its continuously decreasing birth rate and records its lowest birth rate in 2016.

On February 22, Statistics Korea, an agency under the government of Korea, published a report stating the record of child births in South Korea in 2016 has only reached 406,300, a figure that is 32,100 less or 7.3 percent lower than the previous year.

Even with South Korea's fervent efforts to increase its childbirth rate in the previous years, including giving incentives and various assistance to its citizens, the highly-developed nation has recorded its lowest birth rate since 1970 according to Statistic Korea. 

Aside from the low birth rate, the agency also noted the decrease in the crude birth rate or the number of live births per 1,000 people. The crude birth rate for 2016 came to 7.9, the lowest ever recorded. Last year, the crude birth rate in Korea was 8.6. 

The fertility rate or the number of births a woman could have also shown a decrease, with the previous year's 1.24 down to 1.17. 

"Relatively, the number of women in their early 30s of the childbearing age band fell sharply last year from a year earlier. And consequently, the number of their children decreased. Due to the current low marriage rate, the birth rate is unlikely to make a rebound in the coming years," stated Statistics Korea in an article published by the Yonhap News Agency.

The downward spiral of Korea's birthrate, as well as the rapid aging of its citizens, has been an issue of concern in Korea, especially that when coupled, these could negatively impact the country's growth potential in the coming years. A low birthrate and an aging population mean the country will have fewer people in the workforce and there will be increased spending in healthcare and welfare. 

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