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Concerns over decreasing fertility rate grow as number of marriages drops during pandemic Updated: 2021-10-01 17:04:16 KST

People say third time's the charm.
Hopefully, that will be the case for this couple, who have already postponed their wedding twice due to strict anti-virus policies.

"Right now we're planning to have ours in December. We really wanted to be able to have enough people from both of our sides of the family coming, as well as being able to have a real celebration."

A recent study showed that the number of marriages in South Korea over a one-year period during the pandemic dropped almost 15-percent compared to the same period the previous year.
One expert fears that this could affect the country's already low birth rate.

"In fact, it's concerning that the decrease may persist for more than two years. There are also concerns that the decrease in marriages will lead to a decrease in births after two or three years."

This comes as South Korea has the lowest fertility rate in the world.
According to a UN Population Fund report, in 2021, the average number of births a woman in South Korea is expected to have in her lifetime was 1.1.
This is much lower than the global average of 2.4.

"Planning a wedding is a long-term thing. It's not just about the wedding but it's also about starting your family together, starting your life together. And so, if it's hard to plan for the future, it could be very discouraging."

Considering the current constraints, the government has decided to ease anti-virus regulations for weddings.

"In the case of weddings, we've heard a lot of couples apologizing for getting married. Allowing 49 people, or 99 people without dining is a very small number, so we decided to increase the capacity first for those who are fully vaccinated,…"

Many grooms and brides-to-be have suggested that exempting head counts for the fully vaccinated would be a fair compromise.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.
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