By Kim Rahn
South Korea’s birthrate was the world’s lowest for the second consecutive year, according to the World Health Organization, Thursday.
A South Korean woman gives birth to 1.2 babies on average, based on statistics of 2007. The figure was the same as a year before, and has fallen from the 1990’s rate of 1.6 and 2000’s 1.4.
The country ranked at the bottom among 193 nations, along with Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
Several Eastern European countries, Russia and Japan also showed low birthrates with 1.3 babies, followed by 10 nations including Germany, Spain and Macedonia, with 1.4, and Canada and Cuba, with 1.5.
North Korean women gave birth to 1.9 babies, a drop from 1990’s 2.4 and 2000’s 2.
Nigeria recorded the highest birthrate with 7.2 and Afghanistan was second highest with 7.1, but their life expectancy was 51 and 42, respectively, the world’s lowest level.
The nation’s average life expectancy was 79, ranking 28th. It was a half-year increase from a year before. By gender, women live an average of 82 years and men, 76 years.
The life expectancy of North Koreans was 66 ― 64 years for men and 68 years for women. Japan and San Marino recorded the longest expectancy, 82.5 years.
South Korea also ranked 28th in healthy life expectancy, the number of years that a person can expect to live in good health, with 71 years compared to the North Korean average of 59 years.