South Korea`s population, which declined naturally for the first time last year, continued to shrink during the first three months of this year, but at a faster pace, as deaths outnumbered births, government data showed Wednesday.
As of March 31, the nation`s registered population stood at 51,705,905, down by 0.24 percent or 123,118 from 51,829,023 tallied at the end of last year, according to census figures from the Ministry of Interior and Safety on Wednesday.
Natural decrease caused by lower births than deaths amounted to 10,370 in the first quarter, nearly half of the total natural loss for full 2020. The remaining 116,177 people were removed from the population count in the quarter after not registering a residence for over five years.
The number of newborns totaled 68,099, surpassed by 78,469 deaths during the cited period. The number of births dropped 7.6 percent from the same period of last year and 45.7 percent from 10 years ago. The number of deaths fell 3.5 percent from a year ago but jumped 15.5 percent from a decade ago.
The number of youths and children continued to decrease, while that of seniors continued to rise, with those older than 65 taking up 16.6 percent of the total population, larger than the share of youths and children for the first time.
The data also showed women outnumbered men by 25,918,515 (50.1 percent) to 25,787,390 (49.9 percent), down 0.27 percent and 0.21 percent, respectively, from the end of last year.
By Choi Hyun-jae and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]