S. KOREA REPORTS FIRST RISE IN NATIONAL BIRTH RATE IN SIX YEARS

SEOUL, May 7 Asia Pulse – The number of childbirths in South
Korea went up for the first time in six years in 2006, the
nation’s statistics office said Monday, offering a glimmer of
hope for the country’s rapidly aging society.
South Korean women gave birth to a total of 452,000 children
last year, up 3.3 per cent from the previous year, according to
the National Statistical Office (NSO). It was the first annual
rise since 2000 when the number rose 3.3 per cent to 637,000.
The report showed that the fertility rate, the average
number of babies that a woman aged 15-49 gives birth to during
her lifetime, also increased from a record-low figure last
year.
The rate went up to 1.13 last year from the all-time low of
1.08 the previous year, the office said. The growth was also
the first rise in three years.
“The growth in the number of childbirths is partly
attributable to an increase in first marriages among South
Korean people,” the NSO said. “The government’s
birthrate-boosting measures announced recently also contributed
to the childbirths.”
In a bid to boost the fertility rate, the government has
recently been pushing to offer financial incentives to those
who give birth and to working mothers. According to the
office’s estimate, the country’s population is expected to
decline from 2020 after peaking at 49.34 million in 2018 due to
the low birthrate.
According to the report, an increase in the number of
childbirths among women in their early 30s contributed most to
the growth.
The number of childbirths by women aged 30-34 rose by 11,000
to 190,000 last year from the previous year, the office said.
The number of childbirths by women aged 25-29 fell by 1,000
to 174,000, while that by women aged 20-24 dropped by 2,000 to
31,000.
On average, South Korean women gave birth when they were
aged 30.4 last year, up by 0.2 from the previous year, the
report showed.
(Yonhap)

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