Number of newborns fell 6.9% on year in February

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Number of newborns fell 6.9% on year in February

The number of newborns in Korea fell 6.9 percent in February from a year earlier, government data showed Wednesday, a sign of the continuing low birthrate that has plagued Asia’s fourth-largest economy for more than a decade.

The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that 25,700 babies were born in February, compared with 27,600 babies tallied in the same month of 2018.

It marks the lowest number of newborns reported for any February since 1981, when the statistics agency started compiling data on newborns on a monthly basis.

In 2018, Korea’s total fertility rate - the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime - hit a record low of 0.98, much lower than the replacement level of 2.1 that would keep Korea’s population stable at 51 million.

The decline in childbirths came as young people delay marriage amid a prolonged economic slowdown.

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