Korea's low birth rate worsening every yearUpdated: 2014-08-27 16:36:17 (KST)
It's becoming harder to hear the crying of newborns in Korea the nation's birth rate has been on a steady decline over the past 40 years.
Currently, it has the lowest birth rate among the 34 OECD member countries.
Last year, the number of newborns stood at 436,5-hundred, a near 10-percent decrease from 2012.
This means only about eight.six babies were born among a population of one-thousand -- the lowest since the year 1970, when the government first began recording population data.
The age of pregnant mothers meanwhile, is getting higher, which is one of the main contributing factors for the country's low birth numbers.
Last year, the average age of mothers who gave birth was 31.8 years old, point-two year older than the previous year One in five of them were aged 35 or older.
The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs says the low birth rate trend will affect the labor force in the long-run.
The number of able workers between the ages of 15 to 64 is estimated to stand at 37.2 million in 2016 and is expected to steadily decrease to less than 9.5 million people by the year 2100.
"The country's labor productivity will greatly fall with the growing rise of the aging labor population as there are less newcomers joining the work force."
The researcher emphasized the need to come up with comprehensive measures to ease the burdens families face when raising children, particularly policies that would help parents balance work and family life.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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