WORLD S.Korea's total population expected to fall in 2021


S.Korea's total population expected to fall in 2021


16:43, December 09, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's total population was expected to fall for the first time this year on the back of an aging population, a chronically low birth rate, and reduced foreigners during the COVID-19 pandemic, statistical office data showed Thursday.

Commuters wait for a bus in Seoul on December 7, 2021. (File photo: AFP)

After peaking at 51.84 million in 2020, the country's total population was estimated to decrease to 51.75 million in 2021, according to Statistics Korea.

It was driven by chronically low childbirths, a rapidly aging population, and fewer incoming foreigners during the pandemic.

The total population was estimated to decline moderately to 51.20 million in 2030 and 50.19 million in 2040, before reducing sharply to 47.36 million in 2050, 42.62 million in 2060 and 37.66 million in 2070.

It fueled worry about the demographic cliff, which refers to a drop in the working-age population aged 15-64. The demographic cliff eventually leads to a consumption cliff.

The total fertility rate, or an average number of children a woman is expected to bear during lifetime, was estimated to slide from 0.84 in 2020 to 0.70 in 2024 before rebounding to 1.21 in 2046.

The social trend of the younger generation delaying or giving up on marriages and having no baby amid the economic difficulties such as higher housing prices leads to the population fall.

Under the worst-case scenario, the country's total population may decline to 50.15 million in 2030 and 31.53 million in 2070, according to the statistical office projection.

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