June 26, 2022

South Korean babies’ average life expectancy born last year has been recorded to rise by 83.5 years. The amount is more than seven years longer than two decades ago, amongst improved public awareness about health and a better medical system.

According to the data compiled by Statistics Korea, the average life expectancy at birth in 2020 was 2.4 months longer than a year earlier.

When compared with 10 years ago, the average life expectancy became 3.2 years and that of 20 years ago it came to 7.5 years longer.

Summary of the data –

• Baby boys and girls born last year are expected to live 80.5 years and 86.5 years, respectively.
• The gender gap in life expectancy remained unchanged at six years for the second straight year.
• The country’s life expectancies for men and women have been recorded 2.6 years and 3.3 years longer, respectively, than the average of the 38 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
• The data showed that a baby boy born in 2020 has a 62.6 percent possibility of reaching 80, while the chance of a baby girl living up to 80 years reached 81.5 percent.
• Babies born last year are expected to have a 20.7 percent chance of dying of cancer in the future. While this would be followed by heart disease with 11.7 percent and pneumonia with 9.1 percent.
• The data showed that in the future the chance that a person dying of cancer stood at 26.4 percent for male babies and 15.9 percent for female babies.
• And in case the risk of death from cancer is excluded, the life expectancies of male and female babies go up 4.5 years and 2.7 years, respectively.

According to government, the country is currently facing demographic challenges due to rapid aging and a chronically low birthrate. It expects by 2025, the country will widely become a super-aged society, in which the proportion of those aged 65 and older will hit 20 percent of the total population.

As many young people in the country delay and give up on getting married or having babies amid a prolonged economic slowdown and skyrocketing housing prices, it has been struggling with a continued decline in childbirths.