South Korea breaks its own record for world's lowest fertility rate

A woman carrying a baby at a store in Seongnam, South Korea, on January 21, 2019.

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)South Korea's fertility rate, already the world's lowest, has dropped yet again in the latest setback to the country's efforts to boost its declining population.

The national statistics body reported Wednesday that the fertility rate, or the average number of children expected per woman, fell to 0.78 in 2022 -- down from 0.81 the previous year.
Countries need a fertility rate of 2.1 to maintain a stable population, in the absence of immigration.
    South Korea's birth rate has been falling since 2015 and the country recorded more deaths than births for the first time in 2020, a trend that has continued since.
      In 2022, the country recorded about 249,000 births and 372,800 deaths.
      Similar demographic declines are being seen in several other Asian countries including Japan and China, raising concerns there will be too few people of working age to support the ballooning elderly population.