SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Roughly 1 in 6 men who became fathers last year were 40 years or older.
Statistics Korea reported that there were 45,974 men over 40 years of age who became fathers last year.
A total of 272,337 babies were born last year, and among all 269,584 fathers–excluding 2,753 whose age couldn’t be identified–those who were 40 years old or older accounted for 17.1 percent of the total.
In 1993, the rate stood at 2.1 percent (14,699). After the rate exceeded the 10 percent hurdle in 2012 (10.5 percent), it has been on a constant increase.
The share of mothers over 40 years of age went from 0.3 percent in 1993 to 5.1 percent last year, which shows that the aging trend is more prevalent among fathers.
Looking at the change in the number of children born since 2016 sorted by the age of the father, fathers older than 50 years old were the only group that saw a constant growth of childbirth in the last five years.
As the low birthrate is leading to fewer newborn children in the country, the aging fathers are emerging as a new social factor that could take a toll on households reaching retirement.
Headhunting firms Job Korea and Albamon conducted a survey in September of last year of 530 people with jobs, which showed that the preferred age of retirement among them was 49.1 years old on average, down by 1.2 years since four years ago, indicating that people would still like to retire at a younger age despite the aging population.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)