The Korea Herald


S.Korea's fertility rate marks record low in Q2 of 2023

By Moon Ki Hoon

Published : Aug. 30, 2023 - 17:26

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South Korea's fertility rate has dropped to a record-low 0.70 in the second quarter of 2023, according to the latest government report, in yet another stark indicator of the deepening demographic crisis in a nation already grappling with the world's lowest birth rate.

According to the monthly demographic and census report released on Wednesday by Statistics Korea, the country's statistics body, there were 56,087 newborn babies in the second quarter, a 6.8 percent drop from the same period last year. The count represents the lowest since 2009 and marks 91 months of consecutive decline in births.

The country's population has been decreasing for 43 consecutive months, according to the report. In June alone, the number of newborns totaled 18,615, while recorded deaths stood higher at 26,820.

In a separate report released the same day, Statistics Korea confirmed last year's fertility rate at 0.78, aligning with a preliminary estimate released in February. Given current trends, this year's fertility rate may decline further and potentially break last year's low. The fertility rate for the first quarter of 2023 stood at 0.81.

Previous governmental efforts, including cash incentives and subsidized fertility treatments, have been largely ineffective in reversing the trend. A country requires a fertility rate of 2.1 to sustain a stable population without migration.