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U.N.: Korea’s Fertility Rate Less Than Half Global Average

U.N.: Korea’s Fertility Rate Less Than Half Global Average

Posted October. 13, 2005 07:06,   


The nation’s total fertility rate (TFR) is estimated to be less than the half the global average.

According to a report on the state of the world’s population in 2005 published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on October 12, the nation’s TFR, which refers to the actual average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime, is expected to stay at 1.22 this year.

The UNFPA estimated the global average TFR to be 2.6 this year, including 1.57 for developed nations, 2.82 for developing nations and 4.86 for underdeveloped nations.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of Korea, the organization that published the Korean version of the report jointly with UNFPA, explained that the TFR estimate is calculated by predicting the trend for the next five years based on the average TPR for the period between 2000 and 2004. But the actual figure is likely to be even lower because the nation’s rapid decline in birth rate has not been reflected in statistics. Last year, the UNFPA predicted the nation’s TPR to be 1.41, but it turned out to be 1.16.

Hong Kong is expected to record the lowest TPR this year with 0.95, followed by Ukraine with 1.13 and the Czech Republic with 1.19. The TPR of North Korea is estimated be 1.97, lower than the average of developing nations.

In Korea, the average life expectancy is 73.8 for men and 81.2 for women, longer than the global average (men: 63.7, women: 68.2). But in North Korea, the average life span is found to be shorter than the global average at 60.9 years for men and 66.8 for women.

The report has shown that the average man and woman live up to 72.2 and 79.6 respectively in the industrialized world, while the life expectancy of the average man and woman is 62.3 and 65.8, respectively, in developing nations, and 50.8 and 52.7 in underdeveloped nations.

The longest-living people in the world are Hong Kong men (78.9) and Japanese women (85.5). Swaziland, a country in the southeastern part of African continent, has the smallest population in the world with one million people, many of whom are gripped by famine and AIDS. And the average life span of its men and women is also the shortest with 31.6 for men and 31.3 for women.

The world’s total population totaled 6,464.7 million, with China topping the list with 1,315.8 million, followed by India (1,134 million) and the U.S.(298.2 million). The population in the developed world stands at 1,211.3 million, accounting for 18.7 percent of the world’s total population. Korea ranks 25th with a population of 47.8 million, and North Korea ranks No. 47 with 22.5 million.

Hee-Kyung Kim susanna@donga.com