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People's Daily Online

S. Korea's childbirth hits record-low in Q3 over COVID-19

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 15:49, November 25, 2020

South Korea's childbirth hit a record quarterly low in the third quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic delayed marriages, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The number of newborn babies was 69,105 in the July-September quarter, down 6.2 percent from the same quarter of last year, according to Statistics Korea. It marked the lowest quarterly reading since data began to be compiled in 1981.

For the first nine months of this year, the number of newborns totaled 211,768, down 8.8 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The country's combined childbirth was expected to fall below 300,000 this year. The yearly childbirth hovered below 500,000 from 2002 to 2016, before sliding below 400,000 in 2017.

The record-low quarterly childbirth came as locals postponed marriages amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of marriages reached a record low of 47,437 in the third quarter, down 11.0 percent from a year earlier.

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