Officials said the number of marriages in South Korea fell last year as people delayed weddings due to the economic downturn.
The number fell 4.6 percent from 2007 to 329,600 after three years of growth, according to the National Statistical Office.
"Economic conditions affect marriages, as shown in 1997 when the financial crisis caused a 10.7 percent drop in the number of weddings," NSO official Chun Baek-Keun told reporters.
The number of births totalled 466,000 last year, down 5.5 percent or 27,000 from a year earlier, the office said.
The fertility rate, or the average number of babies born during a woman's lifetime, fell to 1.19 last year from 1.25 in 2007.
The number of newborns increased in 2006 and 2007 thanks to the government's efforts to encourage childbirth but the rate is still near the world's lowest.
After years of promoting family planning in a crowded nation, South Korea has become increasingly alarmed at the prospect of an ageing society, with a huge pensions bill and too few workers to sustain economic growth.