S.Korea's childbirth hits record-low in 2016

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-30 17:13:53|Editor: Song Lifang
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SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's childbirth hit a fresh record low last year, boosting worry about low growth potential of the economy amid a falling workforce, statistical agency data showed Wednesday.

The number of newborn babies was 406,200 in 2016, down 7.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. It marked the lowest since the statistical agency began compiling the data in 1970.

The country's childbirth continued to reduce since 2013 except for the increase of 3,000 in 2015. The falling trend of childbirth lasted for the first six months of this year, heralding a fresh record low in 2017.

During the first half, about 188,000 babies were born in the country, the lowest-ever for the January-June period.

The per-capita birthrate averaged 1.17 in 2016, down 0.07 from a year ago. It measures the number of babies that a fertile woman is forecast to give birth to for her whole life.

The 2016 figure was the lowest in seven years. As of 2015, the average per-capita birthrate was 1.68 for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The low birthrate has been a headache for the South Korean economy as it reduces the workforce amid the fast-aging population. The low childbirth and the population aging would drag down the economy's growth potential.