Portion of male births of newborns hits record low last year

SEOUL-- The portion of male births of the total newborns in South Korea declined to a record low last year, data showed Monday, in the latest sign that traditional preference for male children has waned.

The ratio of baby boys to every 100 newborn girls came to 104.9 last year, down from 105.5 the previous year, according to preliminary data by Statistics Korea.

The tally marked the lowest number since the statistics agency began compiling related data in 1990.

When natural births are calculated with no preference for baby boys, the birth sex ratio reaches between 103 and 107, according to the agency.

In South Korea, men have outnumbered women due to its traditional preference for male children. Since hitting 116.5 in 1990, the birth sex ratio has been on a steady decline.

The agency earlier forecast the number of women in South Korea will begin to outpace that of men in 2029.

South Korea is grappling with demographic challenges from its chronic low birthrate and rapid aging.

The country reported the first natural decline in population last year as the number of deaths outpaced that of newborns.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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