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S. Korea’s population declines for first time ever

Posted January. 04, 2021 07:32,   

Updated January. 04, 2021 07:32


The total of registered Korean population in 2020 stood at 51.82 million, down about 20,000 from the previous year. It is the first time in 58 years that the nation’s statistical population has decreased since the resident registration system was introduced in 1962. As a result, “population dead cross,” the phenomenon in which the number of newborns is smaller than the number of the deceased, leading to a fall in the overall population, has become a reality in South Korea.

“According to the current situation of registered resident population released by the Public Administration and Security Ministry on Sunday, South Korea’s total population amounted to 51,829,023 as of December 31, 2020, which was a 0.04 percent down from 2019 (51,849,861). The number of newborns that remained above 300,000 per year through 2019, fell 10.6 percent to 275,815 in 2020, the lowest level ever. The number of the deceased totaled 307,764, or about 30,000 more than the number of births. The number of the deceased has hovered around 300,000 per year over the past five years.

The total population declined, but the number of senior citizens aged 60 and older increased significantly. The number of people in their 60s gained 6.9 percent to 6,744,506 last year. The number of people int their 70s also increased about 4 percent year on year. In contrast, the working age population declined. The number of people in their 20s fell 0.1 percent, and that of people in their 30s declined 2.8 percent, and that of people in their 40s dropped 1 percent.

Ji-Hoon Lee easyhoon@donga.com