Childbirths in South Korea grew in February from a year earlier following five straight months of decline as the government encourages couples to have more babies, a report showed Friday.
According to the report by Statistics Korea, the number of babies born in the cited month reached 46,000, up 6.3 percent, or about 2,400, from the same month a year earlier.
The increase comes as Seoul is actively encouraging people to have more kids to counteract the country's rapid population aging that can hurt economic growth and raise welfare spending down the road. South Korea has one of the lowest birthrates in the world.
Seoul's birthrate expanded for 18 months in a row starting in February 2010, although numbers contracted from last September onwards.
Marriages also increased 8.5 percent in February from a year earlier, with about 25,600 couples tying the knot, the report showed.
The report also showed the number of divorces jumping 13.3 percent to 9,400, while deaths rose 19.6 percent on-year to 25,000.
In a separate report, meanwhile, the agency said that 717,000 people changed their residences in March, a 13.1 percent decrease from the same period a year earlier.