Low birth rate to cut youth population by half in 2060: report
Published : 2013-01-07 10:49
Updated : 2013-01-07 10:49
South Korea could see the younger population aged between 9-24 decrease by more than 50 percent from now in 2060 if the country's low birth rates continue, a government report showed Monday.
The nation's youth population reached its peak at 14 million in 1980, but it has since steadily declined to 10.2 million last year, accounting for 20.4 percent of the total population, census data by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family showed.
The number of young people aged 9-24 is expected to dwindle to 9.6 million in 2015, 7.1 million in 2030, 5.9 million in 2050, and 5 million in 2060, the report estimated, noting the 2060 forecast is less than half of the current youth population.
The male-to-female ratio of the total population was 100.3 in 2011, while the corresponding figure for the youth group was higher with 111.7, showing a wider gender imbalance.
The latest population forecast comes as South Korea is becoming one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, due in part to advanced medicine enabling people to live longer than ever before combined with young couples having fewer children.
The fertility rate for Asia's fourth-largest economy was the world's seventh lowest in 2011, with 1.24 children per woman, Statistics Korea said. It is lower than an average birth rate of 1.74 among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
By 2050, 39 percent of the South Korean population is expected to be over 60, compared with the current level of 17 percent, according to the census bureau. (Yonhap News)