UPDATE : 2018.11.19 MON 18:09
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More than 36 pct of newlyweds had no children in 2016

(Yonhap) -- More than 36 percent of newlywed couples had no children last year, reflecting the country's chronically low birthrate and late marriage trend, government data showed Thursday.

According to the data compiled by Statistics Korea, 1.44 million couples got married in the five years up to November 2016, with 80.1 percent consisting of first-time brides and grooms.

Of that total, 36.3 percent of newlywed couples had no kids last year, up 0.8 percentage point from the previous year. The proportion was 42.2 percent in those couples who both work. Among couples with a single breadwinner, however, only 30.9 percent were childless.

Of the newlyweds, 26.8 percent had a combined annual income of 30 million won (US$28,000) to 50 million won, while 19.6 percent earned 50 million won to 70 million won and 19.7 percent made 10 million won to 30 million won.

The latest findings showed that an increasing number of South Koreans are getting married later and having children when they are older -- or are giving up on tying the knot and having babies altogether.

The average age at which a woman has her first child was 31.2 in 2015, up from 31 in 2014. Some 23.9 percent of first-time moms were over 35 years of age.

The country's fertility rate, or the average number of babies that a woman is projected to have during her lifetime, has hovered around 1.2 since it dropped to a record low of 1.08 in 2005.

It reached 1.24 in 2015, the second-lowest fertility rate among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), following Portugal with 1.23, according to data compiled in 2014.

The average birthrate of OECD countries was 1.68 as of 2014.

Kim Sua  edt@koeapost.com

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