Korea has 26th largest population in world
By Bae Ji-sook
South Korea has the world’s 26th largest population with an estimated 48.5 million people out of the total of 6.9 billion people living on the planet, the United Nations Population Fund said Wednesday in its 2010 report.
North Korea has 24 million people, ranking 49th, and the combined population of the two Koreas reaches 71.5 million, putting the united population at 19th.
The report came days after the Ministry of Public Administration and Security announced that South Korea’s population had officially surpassed 50 million.
The total population of the world is estimated at 6.908 billion this year, up about 79 million from last year’s 6.829 billion.
China was the world’s most populous country with 1.3 billion, followed by India with 1.2 billion and the U.S. with 317 million. Those with the smallest population are Guam, the Antilles, Samoa and Vanuatu, which each have fewer than 200,000.
South Korea has also become an aging society with females living an average of 82.9 years, the 17th longest in the world, and males surviving to an average age 76.4, the 31st longest.
North Korea, on the other hand, ranked 118th in male life expectancy with 65.5 years and 125th for females with 69.7 years. The global average life span is 61.1 years for males and 71.5 years for females.
The falling birthrate has become a global phenomenon marking 2.52 in 2010, down from 2.54 a year earlier.
South Korea’s birthrate was tallied at 1.24, joining the bottom three along with Hong Kong (1.01) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1.22).
“The report will be used to better understand each nation’s status and draw up specific plans to deal with various population issues,” said Shin Sun-chul, spokeswoman of the Planned Population Federation, which organized the Korean statistics.
The report suggested a serious gap between developed countries and underdeveloped or developing ones with regard to populations, raising fears of a tough future for equal welfare and other benefits.
The wealthier the nation was, the lower the birthrate was. While developed nations posted roughly 1.65 births per couple, developing nations marked 2.67 and underdeveloped nations, 4.23.