SEOUL, August 29, 2003 ( – Korea’s National Statistical Office released figures Wednesday indicating that the country’s birthrate has reached the lowest rate ever recorded. With a 1.17 fertility rate, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman, South Korea ranks among countries with the lowest fertility rate in the world.  Korean women gave birth to 490,000 babies last year, down 62,000 from 2001, while the death toll was 247,000, up 4,000.  The figures are causing government officials to examine support for married couples who have children.  See the coverage in the Korea Times:


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