Posted November. 19, 2009 09:30,
The countrys total fertility rate, or the number of children a woman gives birth to over her lifetime, is the second lowest in the world, the U.N. Population Fund said yesterday.
Koreas rate was 1.22, trailing only Bosnia-Herzegovina with 1.21, according to the organizations latest report on the global population. Korea ranked 184th out of 185 countries in the total fertility rate.
Koreas fertility rate is the worlds lowest, however, given that the figure in the report is a five-year average and that the countrys fertility rate complied by the Korean National Statistical Office last year was 1.19.
Birth rates in Asia are rapidly declining, with those of Japan and Singapore at 1.26, according to the report.
The average world fertility rate was 2.54, the same as last years. The report also said that the poorer a country is, the higher its fertility rate is. The average fertility rate in advanced economies was 1.64, that of developing economies 2.70, and that of poor countries 4.29.
The world has a population of 6.83 billion, up 79.7 million from last year. China ranked first with 1.35 billion people, followed by India with 1.2 billion and the United States with 315 million.
South Korea ranked 26th with 48.3 million people. North Korea was 47th with 23.9 million.
With South Koreas total fertility rate less than half the world average, its population will decline to 44.1 million by 2050, according to the report.
Subhash Gupta, director of the organizations division for management services who visited Seoul to mark the release of the report, said The total fertility rate will not grow unless a proper social welfare system like that of Norway is in place.