S. Korea’s childbirths hit record low in Oct.

SEOUL– The number of babies born in South Korea reached yet another record low in October, data showed Wednesday, underscoring the country’s chronic low birthrate.

A total of 20,658 babies were born in October, down 0.4 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea. It marked the lowest number for any October since the statistics agency started compiling related data in 1981.

It was also the 83rd consecutive month of an on-year decline.

Over the January-October period, the number of babies born here fell 4.8 percent on-year to 212,881.

South Korea has been dogged by a chronic decline in childbirths as many young people delay or give up on having babies in the face of an economic slowdown and high home prices.

In 2020, the number of new babies plunged 10 percent on-year to 272,337. The country’s annual childbirths have been losing ground on-year since the 406,243 posted in 2016.

The number of deaths came to 29,763 in October, up 7.3 percent from a year earlier.

As the number of deaths outpaced that of births, the nation’s population fell by 9,104 in October, marking the 36th consecutive month of decline.

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

Meanwhile, the data showed the number of marriages rising 4.1 percent on-year to 15,832 in October, as couples tied the knot following eased COVID-19 rules. In 2021, the number of marriages dipped 9.8 percent on-year.

Divorces also inched down 3.1 percent to reach 7,466 in October.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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