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Korea Has World’s 3rd-lowest Total Fertility Rate

Posted October. 21, 2010 11:16,   


The country’s total fertility rate, or the number of children a woman bears over her lifetime, is the third lowest in the world, the U.N. Population Fund said Wednesday.

South Korea’s fertility rate is 1.24, just behind Hong Kong’s 1.01 and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 1.21, according to the fund’s latest report on the global population. The figure in the report is a five-year average and slightly different from South Korea’s fertility rate of 1.15 as reported by Statistics Korea last year based on the registered population.

The average among 186 countries surveyed by the U.N. agency was 2.52.

South Korea’s fertility rate was 1.19 in 2007 but rose to 1.2 in 2008 and 1.22 last year. North Korea ranked 133rd this year with 1.85.

South Korea’s population of 48.5 million is expected to decline to 44.07 million in 2050 after peaking at 49.48 million in 2025 if the total fertility rate remains at 1.24, the report said.

China has the world’s largest population with 1.35 billion, followed by India with 1.21 billion, the U.S. 317 million, Indonesia 232 billion and Brazil 195 million. By 2030, however, India’s population is expected to top the list at 1.48 million, surpassing China’s 1.46 billion.

The average male life expectancy in South Korea was 76.4 years, 31st in the world, while that for women was 82.9 years, or 17th. North Korea ranked 118th for men with 65.5 years and 125th for women with 69.7 years.

Men in Iceland and women in Japan topped the world longevity rankings with 80.8 and 85.6 years, respectively. Afghanistan had the lowest life expectancy for both men and women at 44.7 and 44.6 years, respectively.

The report said South Korea ranked first in giving birth with help from medical personnel, meaning that virtually all women in the country give birth at hospitals.