A higher number of South Korean men are having children after turning 35, with their number nearly doubling over 10 years, a study showed Friday.
Sohn Kitae, a professor at Curtin University in Australia, examined trends in parental age in South Korea by tracking childbirths from 1997-2014, the census for the years 2000-2010 and other marriage data. The results showed that of babies born to fathers aged 20-54, 38.7 percent were born to fathers aged 35-54 in 2010, almost double the 20.2 percent in 2000.
The trend was more so for mothers. The corresponding numbers for them rose from 6.7 percent in 2000 to 17.2 percent in 2010.
The findings were carried in the latest online version of international journal Human Fertility.
According to the study, the age of parents having their first child was also rising. For men, the average age of first-time fathers was 29.4 in 1997. It increased to 33.1 in 2014. In case of women, it rose from 26.4 to 30.5.
The study pointed out that parental age can influence babies' health, education and socio-economic factors in both the short and long term, and while low fertility is not due solely to the aging of the parents, the impact is not negligible.
"Potential parents and policymakers can use this information to time births more appropriately, thereby reducing risks to babies and mothers," it said. (Yonhap)