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South Korea’s population passes 50 million

Publication Date : 22-06-2012


South Korea’s population will exceed 50 million on Saturday, making it the 26th country to reach the mark, according to a report from Statistics Korea.

Government officials said the nation is expected to hit the figure at around 6:36pm on Saturday.

Koreans take up 0.71 per cent of the world’s population of around 7.05 billion, according to the officials. The nation’s population surpassed 40 million in 1983.

The report forecasted that the population will stay above 50 million for 33 years, peaking in 2030 at 52.16 million. From 2045, the population is expected to drop back below 50 million.

Given that the productive population -- aged between 15 and 64 -- is 100 in 2010, the report said the figure would drop to 80.2 in 2040. Korea will see the third-biggest decrease in the population after Japan, where the figure will reach 75.5 by 2040, and Germany with 78.4.

The fertility rate in Korea was 1.23 as of 2010, following a mostly downward trend since 1983 when it was 2.06. The report found the reason for the increase in the proportion of economically active females in their 20s, which grew from 32 per cent in 1980 to 69.4 percent in 2010.

The report however expected the rate to gradually increase and reach 1.42 by 2040. If the fertility rate keeps on the increase and reaches 1.79 by 2060, the report said that the population could stay above the 50 million for 13 more years and the aging of society could be slowed by 14 years.

Life expectancy for men rose from 61.8 in 1980 to 77.2 in 2010, and for women from 70 in 1980 to 84.1 in 2010. The average life expectancy in 2010 was around 80, the third higherst in the world, after Japan (83.7) and France (81.7).


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