S. Korea's childbirth posts double-digit fall for 9 months

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 14:44:51|Editor: Zhou Xin
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SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's childbirth posted a double-digit fall for nine months to August, boosting worry about low growth potential amid a falling workforce, statistical agency data showed Wednesday.

The number of newborn babies was 30,200 in August, down 10.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea.

It was the lowest for any August figure since the agency began compiling the data in 2000, keeping a double-digit decline for the ninth consecutive month.

The double-digit fall was attributable to the falling number of women of childbearing age as well as the social trend to delay marriage and the first childbirth.

The number of marriage dropped 12.6 percent from a year earlier to 20,100 in August, keeping a downward trend for three months in a row.

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

In the January-August period, the number of newborn babies came in at 248,000, down 12.2 percent from the same period of last year.

The low birth rate 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.

The government under President Moon Jae-in vowed to actively address the prolonged low childbirth to raise the economy's growth potential.

The finance ministry created a new department dedicated to dealing with low childbirth and the population aging as part of efforts to reduce living costs necessary to raise children.