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Childbirths in S. Korea grow 5.7 pct in 2010
SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- The number of children born in South Korea grew 5.7 percent in 2010 amid government efforts to bolster the nation's prolonged low birthrate, a report showed Wednesday.

   According to the report by Statistics Korea, the number of newborns totaled 470,000 last year, up 25,000 from a year earlier. This was a turnaround from two consecutive years of on-year declines in childbirths.

   The rebound was attributed to solid economic growth and the fact that more married couples opted to have their second or third child last year.

   The total fertility rate, or the number of babies that a woman is expected to have during her lifetime, slightly rose 0.077 to 1.226 from a year earlier, the report showed. The crude birthrate, or the number of babies born for every 1,000 people, rose to 9.4 from 9.0 in 2009.

   The increase comes as South Korea has been pushing to bolster its birthrate through diverse incentives, fearing that a decline in population could dent its growth potential and raise its social welfare requirements.

   Of the total newborns, 242,900 were male, while 227,300 were female, according to the report. That means that 106.9 boys were born per every 100 female childbirths last year.

   kokobj@yna.co.kr
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