Women's Welfare: South Korea Ranks 3rd Lowest in Birth Rate, 3rd Highest in Women’s Life Expectancy | BusinessKorea

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two Korean women look through a coffee shop window during their lunch break in downtown Busan, South Korea. (Photo by Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons)
Two Korean women look through a coffee shop window during their lunch break in downtown Busan, South Korea. (Photo by Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons)
19 November 2014 - 10:50am
Jack H. Park

South Korea was chosen as one of three countries with the lowest fertility rates. On the other hand, the contraception penetration rate, life expectancy of women, and enrollment of girls in elementary and middle schools were at fairly high ranks.

According to the Korean edition of the UNFPA Report of World Population Status published by the Planned Population Federation of Korea on Nov. 18, the South Korean population ranks 27th in the world this year with 49.5 million people. If North Korea’s population (25 million people) is added, all of Korea ranks 19th. China has the largest population (1.3938 billion) followed by India (1.2674 billion) and then the U.S. (322.6 million).

South Korea's estimated yearly average births (per woman) from 2010 to 2015 was 1.3, ranking third lowest following Macau and Hong Kong (1.1). Niger had the highest birth rate, and the global average woman gives birth to 2.5 children during her lifetime.

South Korea's average expected lifespan at birth from 2010 to 2015 was 78 years for male children and 85 years for female, ranking 15th and 3rd. Japanese, Hong Kong, and Swedish men (80+ years) and Japanese women (87 years) lived the longest in the world, and the average global life expectancy was 68 years for men and 72 years for women.

South Korea is exemplary in the health of mothers and newborn babies. The rate of women giving birth to babies with the help of skilled medical assistants was 100 percent, the yearly average for 2006 to 2013, and higher than the global average of 69 percent. The rate of North Korea also hit 100 percent. The death rate of mothers while giving birth (27 per 100,000 childbirths in 2014) was only an eighth of the world's average (210).

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