Worry in South Korea over low childbirth
Seoul : Worry re-emerged in South Korea over a so-called demographic cliff amid the continued fall in childbirth that was mainly blamed on "money problem".
The number of newborn babies was 26,100 in September, down 4,000, or 13.3 percent, from a year earlier, Statistics Korea data showed on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
It was the lowest September figure since the statistical agency began compiling the data in 1981, marking the first double-digit decline this year. The number of newborns kept falling for 34 months in a row.
For the past decade, concerns lasted about the low birthrate as one of the most serious social issues, but the worry deepened further amid the spreading social trend to delay or avoid marriage.
According to social analytics on marriage which unveiled in the parliamentary policy forum on low birthrate, the younger generation delayed or shunned marriage due to financial burden for preparing marriage, purchasing residence and raising a child.
The social trend was partly caused by the prolonged high unemployment rate among the younger generation.
South Korea is reportedly required to keep the fertility rate at 2.1 to maintain the current population.
According to the statistical agency's estimate, the South Korean population was forecast to begin sliding from 2028.