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Economy

South Korean population on cusp of steep decline

Nearly half of population will be elderly by 2065, statistics agency estimates

South Korea's fertility rate fell below 1 in 2018.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea's declining fertility rate could push down its population starting next year, bringing the demographic tipping point closer than expected, the government reported Thursday.

The most pessimistic scenario shows the population peaking at 51.65 million in 2019, then sliding back to the 1972 level of 33.65 million in 2067. Seniors 65 and older would constitute 46% of the population in 2065 under the medium-growth scenario, making South Korea the grayest developed nation.

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