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Korean J Pediatr. 2011 Nov;54(11):429-35. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2011.54.11.429. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

The changing trends in live birth statistics in Korea, 1970 to 2010.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.


Although Korean population has been growing steadily during the past four decades, the nation is rapidly becoming an aging society because of its declining birth rate combined with an increasing life expectancy. In addition, Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world due to fewer married couples, advanced maternal age, and falling birth rate. The prevalence of low birth weight infants and multiple births has been increased compared with the decrease in the birth rate. Moreover, the number of congenital anomalies is expected to increase due to the advanced maternal age. In addition, the number of interracial children is expected to increase due to the rise in the number of international marriages. However, the maternal education level is high, single-mother birth rate is low, and the gender imbalance has lessened. The number of overweight babies has been decreased, as more pregnant women are receiving adequate prenatal care. Compared to the Asian average birth weight, the average birth weight is the highest in Asia. Moreover, the rate of low birth weight infants is low, and infant mortality is similarly low across Asia. Using birth data from Statistics Korea and studies of birth outcomes in Korea and abroad, this study aimed to assess the changes in maternal and infant characteristics associated with birth outcomes during the past four decades and identify necessary information infrastructures to study countermeasures the decrease in birth rate and increase in low birth weight infants in Korea.


Birth rate; Fertility rate; Korea; Low birth weight infant; Maternal age; Multiple birth

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