The number of births in South Korea fell in January from a year earlier as women postponed pregnancies due to the economic downturn, a government report showed on Wednesday.
The number fell 5.6 per cent to 44,100 in January, according to the National Statistical Office.
The birthrate has been declining since March 2008 as people put off marriage and have fewer babies because of the adverse economy.
The number of marriages in January dropped 3.7 per cent from a year earlier to 28,400.
South Korea's birthrate even in favourable economic times is among the world's lowest, alarming officials who foresee a huge pensions bill and too few workers to sustain economic growth.