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Number of Childbearing Women Falling

Posted December. 27, 2006 03:30,   


According to the 2005 Census released by the Korea National Statistical Office yesterday, women of childbearing age (15-to-49 years old) decreased for the first time in Korea’s history. In particular, the number of such women with spouses plunged.

Also, one in three children was not taken care of by their parents in the daytime, and the ratio of wives older than their husbands are on the steady increase.

Declining Numbers of Women of Childbearing Age-

As of November 2005, the number of women of childbearing age stood at 13.097 million, a drop of 58,000 or 0.4 percent, compared with five years earlier. The growth rate of such women showed a steady decline from 11.5 percent in 1990 to 3.5 percent in 1995 and to 2.7 percent in 2000, and it posted a minus growth last year.

The number of childbearing women with spouses, which is directly related to birthrate, also fell five percent from 8.053 million in 2000 to 7.64 million in 2005. The ratio of childbearing women aged 25 to 34 with spouses dropped as much as 12.7 percentage points in the same period.

Married childbearing women gave birth to 1.7 children on average, and they were planning to have 0.2 more child. The expected birth rate of 1.9, which takes account of that, is below 2.05, the population replacement rate.

About 34% of Children Are Not Cared for by Their Parents-

About 34 percent of 7.374 million children under the age of 12 were not taken care of by their parents in the daytime.

The ratio of full-time parental care went down to 39.5 percent in 2005 from 41.8 percent in 2000.

About 12.9 percent of children spent time in private tutoring schools while their parents are not home, and 5.4 percent of them were cared for by their grand parents. As many as 172,000 children (2.3 percent) stayed home without an adult in the daytime.

Surge of Wives Older than Their Husbands-

Around 11.7 percent of wives were older than their husbands among the total couples married after 2000. The ratio of such wives has been increasing from 6.3 percent in the 1980s to 7.5 percent in the 1990s.

The over-65 population surged 29.5 percent while the total population growth stood at 2.3 percent, a clear sign that there is a rapid population aging going on. The elderly are expanding 13 times as fast as the total population.