Females to outnumber males in 2015
By Yun Suh-young
The number of women in Korea is forecast to exceed that of men in 2015.
Statistics Korea said Sunday the number of females will reach 25.31 million within three years, surpassing the male population projected at 25.30 million.
It will be the first time for females to outnumber males since 1960, when the country began compiling related data.
Predictions state throughout the coming decades Korea will have more females than males.
The female population will reach 26.26 million in 2031 whereas the male population will start decreasing from 2029 after peaking at 25.90 million.
As of 2010, there were more males than females with the figures at 24.75 million and 24.65 million, respectively. But the ratio will gradually reverse mainly because of the aging population and women’s higher life expectancy, officials said.
“Although there are more newborn boys than girls, the overall birth rate is very low.
Coupled with the aging population, women tend to live longer than men, which is why the country will end up having more females in total,” said an official from the agency.
The projected life expectancy of men as of 2010 is 77.2 years and 84.1 years for women.
Korea became an aging society in 2000 when the proportion of those aged 65 years or over exceeded 7 percent of the total population. The country is now rapidly aging with more than 14 percent of the population aged 65 or older.
Until now, men have been outnumbering women due mainly to the traditional preference for male children among parents.
The ratio of baby boys to every 100 newborn girls averaged 106.9 between 2005 and 2010.
Korea’s population surpassed the 50-million mark last month.