According to the World Factbook of the US Central Intelligence Agency, the country’s estimated total fertility rate ranked 219th out of 224 countries in the world.
Only five countries were behind South Korea. They were Puerto Rico, whose total fertility rate marked 1.22, Hong Kong (1.10), Taiwan (1.13), Macau (0.95) and Singapore (0.83).
Niger topped the list with its total fertility rate standing at 6.49, followed by other African countries including Angola at 6.16, Mali at 6.01 and Burundi at 5.99. North Korea ranked 127th at 1.95, while the US was 143rd at 1.87 and China 182nd at 1.60.
South Korea has long struggled with a low birthrate and rapidly aging population. The number of elderly aged 65 and over is expected to be nearly 7.08 million this year, or 13.8 percent of the whole population.
The aged-child ratio -- the percentage of people over 65 to children up to 14 years old -- stood at 104.8 as of this year, which means there are more elderly than young people, according to data from Statistics Korea. The tally is expected to soar to 434.6 in 2060, the data showed.
By Bak Se-hwan (firstname.lastname@example.org)