Number of newborns lowest ever－南韓新生兒數創新低
The number of newborns stood at 357,700 last year, falling below the 400,000 mark for the first time, according to Statistics Korea, Wednesday. The figure is also down 48,000 from 2016, the largest drop since 2002.
The average birthrate was 1.05, also the lowest figure since the government started collecting data. The rates in the country’s two largest cities _ Seoul and Busan _ were below one. "This is far worse than we ever anticipated. The demographic cliff scenario is likely to strike Korea earlier than expected," an official from the statistics agency said.
The average age for a woman giving birth to her first baby was 32.6 in 2017, up 0.2 from a year earlier. In contrast, the mortality rate jumped to a record high last year reflecting the aging society, and indicating the nation is starting to go over to the demographic cliff. The country’s net population growth stood at 72,000 last year, also the lowest figure Statistics Korea has seen.