S.Korea's childbirth keeps falling for 50 months

S.Korea's childbirth keeps falling for 50 months

S.Korea's keeps falling for 50 months

South Korea's childbirth kept falling for 50 straight months through January, boosting worry about a so-called demographic cliff, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The number of newborn babies was 26,818 in January, down 11.6 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. On a yearly basis, the childbirth continued to slide since December 2015.

The country's newborns continued to skid amid the rising social trend of delayed marriage and the falling number of women who are of childbearing age.

The number of marriages sank 7.0 percent over the year to 19,823 in January, marking the lowest January reading since the data began to be compiled in 1981.

The number of divorces declined 8.9 percent to 8,832 in the cited period.

The continued fall in childbirth fueled concerns about the demographic cliff, which refers to a sudden drop in the heads of household eventually leading to a consumption cliff.

The low birth rate has been a headache for the South Korean economy as it can lead to the lower workforce amid the rapidly aging population, which could drag down the economy's growth potential.

The number of deaths advanced 4.0 percent to 28,471 in January, posting the second-biggest monthly figure.

Because of the reduced childbirth and the increased death, the country's population slipped for the third consecutive month.