The proportion of young people to the total population in South Korea dropped to the lowest level ever in 2014, affected by the chronically low birthrates, government data showed Thursday.
According to the data by Statistics Korea, the number of people aged 9-24 came to 9.84 million this year, accounting for 19.5 percent of the total population of 50.42 million.
The rate marked the lowest since related data started to be compiled in 1960 when the figure stood at 31.8 percent.
The percentage of younger people has been on the decline since it peaked at 36.9 percent in 1978. The agency expected that the rate could fall further down the road to 16.3 percent in 2020, 13.5 percent in 2040 and 11.4 percent in 2060.
The decline is attributable to the country's low birthrates, which resulted in reducing the number of younger people and also aggravating the aging population problem here.
As of 2013, the country's birthrate stood at 1.19, down from the previous year's 1.297, according to the statistics agency. The agency said that it applied 1.42 as a birthrate in projecting the proportion of younger people to the total population in the future.
The report comes as South Korea has been pushing to raise the birthrate since its decline could shrink the overall working population, increase welfare expenses and undercut the country's growth potential. (Yonhap)