South Korea Dives Over the Population Cliff

The pandemic pulled forward the timetable of Korea's population decline.

South Korea Dives Over the Population Cliff

Image: Projection of South Korean population and population growth rate through 2070.  Credit: Statistics Korea.

Statistics Korea 통계청, the government agency in charge of collecting official statistics, announced that in 2021, the population of South Korea declined by 91k - the first time South Korea experienced a population reduction since modern record keeping began.

Although Statistics Korea expected the “population cliff” would arrive in 2029, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in less inbound immigration as well as fewer childbirths. (See previous coverage, “Pandemic Depresses Dating Lives.”)

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