SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of women of childbearing age has declined by nearly 820,000 over the past 10 years, a phenomenon expected to continue as the low birthrate, which has been falling for decades, takes its toll, a parliamentary report said Wednesday.
The population of women aged 15-49, the group that can give birth, fell to 12.79 million in 2015 from 13.61 million in 2015, according to the report from the National Assembly Research Service. The size of this particular population has not risen once during the period. This trend explains why despite women having more children on average in recent years, the number of newborns is falling, the report said.
The number of newborns in 1991 was 709,000, which slightly increased to 715,000 in 1995, figures from Statistics Korea showed. By 2002, the number fell to and has since stayed around 400,000.
Women, however, have been having more children during the period. A woman on average had 1.19 children between 2006-2010, which rose to 1.24 for 2011-2015.
The childbirth rate started to fall in the late 1990s, bringing down with it the number of women who would give birth later on, the report pointed out. Women born in the years of the falling childbirth are beginning to enter their active fertility age, and the toll from the fallen birthrate will continue to show, it said.
“This is an indication that we need a change of policy and a change in details to plan for the low birthrate and aging society,” Park Sun-gwon, a researcher, said. “We need a choice and focus as we develop a policy aimed at maintaining the childbirth rate at 400,000.”