More couples got divorced and fewer people married amid last year's economic downturn in South Korea, adding to fears about the nation's already low birthrate, data showed Monday.
Statistics Korea reported the number of weddings between January and November last year fell 5.4 percent year-on-year to 273,600.
AdvertisementThe number of divorces rose 9.5 percent year-on-year to 115,800 during the same period, the statistical office said in a report.
It said the number of babies born between January-November last year decreased 4.0 percent year-on-year to 414,100.
"The economic downturn, which makes it hard to find jobs, may have led to delayed marriages and more divorces," a Statistics Korea official told AFP.
The country is already waging a uphill battle to raise its birthrate amid fears of a rapidly ageing society.
The birthrate -- the average number of babies born during a woman's lifetime -- remained near the world's lowest at 1.19 in 2008 and there are fears the population will begin shrinking within a decade.