Go to contents

Population Decline Starts in 2021

Posted January. 19, 2005 22:53,   


According to the 2001 estimate, Korea’s population is predicted to peak in 2023, recording around 50,680,000 people, but with the birth rate dropping greater than expected, the time of the peak is being closer.

Indeed, the average birth rate per fertile woman in Korea has continued to drop; from 4.53 in the 1970s, 2.83 in the 1980s, 1.59 in the 1990s, and now to 1.19 in 2003.

As of 2003, the figure, 1.19, is far lower than that of the U.S. (2.01), Germany (1.40), and Japan (1.29).

Meanwhile, development of medical technology results in a prolonged life span, increasing the number of the aging population to 4,380,000 (9.1 percent of the total population) this year, and the figure is expected to exceed 10,000,000 in 2026 and record 15,790,000 in 2050, 3.6 times more than this year’s number.

Analysis shows that the number of supporting population per senior citizen is 7.9 this year, but the figure in 2050 will be 1.4.

“The percentage of aged population is expected to rise from seven percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2018, and then exceed 20 percent in 2026. The birth rate is falling too fast,” said Jeong Chang-shin, manager of the population analysis team of the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com