Credit: Public Domain.
South Korea’s fertility rate of 0.84 - the lowest in the world - is causing the country’s population to shrink. The fertility rate is so low partly because women give birth relatively late in their lives.
According to an article by Chosun Ilbo 조선일보, the average age of South Korean mothers giving birth is 32.6, the oldest in the OECD. (The same number for US is 29.1; even in Japan, with its own demographic issue, the average age of mothers is 32.0, younger than South Korea’s.) A little more than one-third of all mothers were 35 years old or older; as recently as 2000, only 6.8% of mothers were 35 or older. Older births will change the typical life cycle of Koreans; for example, retirement-age people may be saddled with college tuition.