The number of babies born in South Korea reached yet another record-low level in September, the lowest for the month since record keeping began in 1981, data revealed on Wednesday.
A total of 21,885 babies were born this September, down 0.1 per cent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
But it was up from 21,758 newborns in August, reports Yonhap News Agency citing thr data.
Over the January-September period, the number of babies born here fell 5.2 per cent on-year to 192,223.
South Korea remains dogged by a chronic decline in childbirths as many young people delay or give up on having babies in the face of an economic slowdown and high home prices.
Its total fertility rate — the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime — came to just 0.79 in the third quarter, the data showed. In 2021, it stood at 0.81, marking the fourth straight year to hover below one.
South Korea’s aging population also led to more deaths.
The number of deaths came to 29,199 in September, up 13.8 per cent from a year earlier. It marked the highest for any September since 1983.
As the number of deaths outpaced that of births, the nation’s population declined 7,313 in September, marking the 35th consecutive month of fall.
South Korea reported the first natural fall in its population in 2020, as the grim demographic trend has continued.
Meanwhile, the data showed the number of marriages rising 7.4 per cent on-year to 14,748 in September as more people tied the knot following eased Covid-19 regulations.
Divorces inched down 2.4 per cent on-year to 8,164 in the month.