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South Korea: Cradle, wedding altar hit hard by virus

Government proposes $469.8B budget bill for 2021 with focus on recovering economy, fighting COVID-19

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 28.10.2020
South Korea: Cradle, wedding altar hit hard by virus

ANKARA

Besides battering South Korea’s economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has also hit the birthrate and marriages in the country, government data showed. 

According to Statistics Korea, the country’s fertility rate fell to a record-low 0.84 child per woman in the second quarter of this year. It is dropping faster than expected, Seoul-based daily Chosunilbo reported on Wednesday.

Statistics Korea had projected the country's birthrate to rebound next year. “But that projection is now highly likely to be wrong,” the report added.

The pandemic has also hit marriages in the country, thus exacerbating the drop in new births since very few women in Korea have children out of wedlock.

The number of marriages stood at just 15,670, down around 3,300 compared to the average of 19,000 from January to March.

While the marriage season is normally high in May, the number dropped by 20% compared to April 2019.

However, June and July reported declines of 95% and 89% in marriages which were not just postponed but cancelled altogether.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in Wednesday said the focus of the country’s new budgetary policy would be to recover the economy and create jobs, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Moon told the country’s parliament that his government’s focus would be “creating jobs, reinvigorating the economy and winning the fight against the coronavirus.”

The government has proposed a $469.8 billion budget bill for 2021, up 8.5% from the current budget.

South Korea reported 103 more COVID-19 cases today, bringing the national tally to 26,146. One patient also died due to the infection, raising the death total to 461.

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