Childbirths in South Korea fell for the 13th straight month in January, adding to the concern over the country’s chronically low birthrate, a government report showed Wednesday.
According to the report by Statistics Korea, the number of babies born in January came to about 41,400, down 6.3 percent or 2,800 from the same month a year earlier. This marked the 13th straight month that childbirths have declined since January 2012.
The latest childbirth report comes as South Korea is pushing to raise the birthrate, as the decline is feared to eventually shrink the overall working population, increase welfare expenses and undercut the country’s growth potential.
The growing trend of delaying getting married and reluctance to have babies even after marriage played a role in lowering the overall birthrate, experts said.
The report showed that about 26,900 couples got married in January, down 6.6 percent or 1,900 from a year earlier.
Divorces also declined 3.2 percent or 300 on-year in January to 9,100 while the number of deaths was 23,400, down 2.1 percent or 500 from a year earlier, the report showed.
In a separate report, the agency said that the number of people changing their residence in February rose 5.1 percent on-year to about 760,000, a turnaround from the previous month’s 4.7 percent decline. (Yonhap)