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去年韩国死亡人数首次超过出生人数

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多年来韩国一直在同少子化问题和人口老龄化问题作斗争,然而过去的一年给了韩国又一个打击。人口普查数据显示,去年韩国死亡人数首次超过了出生人数,总人口第一次出现负增长。

South Korea recorded more deaths than births in 2020 for the first time ever, prompting calls for action to revive the country's falling fertility rate.

韩国2020年记录的死亡人数有史以来第一次超过了出生人数,这促使人们呼吁出台措施提高不断降低的生育率。

For years, South Korea has struggled with a growing demographic crisis. The country's fertility rate has repeatedly hit record lows, and ranks near the bottom of the lowest fertility rates in the world. Meanwhile, South Korea's population continues to age, sending the country into a demographic decline.

多年来,韩国一直在和日益严重的人口危机作斗争。该国的生育率屡创历史新低,几乎在全球垫底。与此同时,韩国的人口继续老化,导致人口减少。

But last year's census data, released by the Ministry of Interior and Safety on Monday, appears even more alarming.

但是韩国内政安全部周一(1月4日)公布的去年人口普查数据更令人担忧。

There were only 275,815 births, a record low -- compared to 307,764 deaths, a 3.1% increase in fatalities from the previous year. This is the first time South Korea has hit the "population death cross," when the number of deaths surpasses births, the ministry said in a news release -- and the first time the total population has shrunk.

数据显示,韩国去年新生儿数量只有27万5815人,创历史新低,与此同时,死亡人数达到30万7764人,同比增加3.1%。内政安全部在新闻稿中宣布,这是韩国首次出现死亡人数超过出生人数的“人口死亡数拐点”,也是总人口第一次出现缩水。

The population continues to age rapidly, the census showed: 32.7% of people are in their 40s and 50s, and nearly a quarter are over the age of 60.

普查数据显示,韩国人口继续快速老化:32.7%的人口为四十多或五十多岁,近四分之一的人口超过60岁。

"The constant decline in birth rate shows that low birth rate remains as a big issue in Korea," the release said. "There needs to be a fundamental change in the governmental policies such as welfare, education, and national defense, accordingly."

新闻稿称:“生育率的持续下降表明,低生育率依然是韩国的一个大问题。政府需要相应地在福利、教育、国防等政策上做出根本改变。”

The release didn't mention causes of death, or how much the Covid-19 pandemic influenced last year's figures. The pandemic has killed 981 people in South Korea so far, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

新闻稿没有提及死亡原因,以及新冠疫情对去年数据的影响有多大。约翰斯·霍普金斯大学的统计数据显示,迄今为止疫情已经导致韩国981人丧生。

But Korean experts have previously warned that the pandemic could skew the number of births and deaths -- both because of the higher number of Covid-related deaths, and because the circumstances of the pandemic could discourage couples from having children.

但是先前韩国专家曾警告,疫情可能会改变韩国的出生和死亡人数。一方面是因为新冠疫情导致更多人死亡,另一方面是因为疫情会遏制韩国夫妇生育的愿望。

In a report published in December 2020, the central Bank of Korea warned that the country's falling birth rates and aging population would likely "accelerate" due to the impact of Covid-19. The pandemic caused greater job and income insecurity for young adults in their 20s and 30s -- potentially disrupting their plans to start a family. Economic and personal anxieties may cause them to delay having children; in some cases, a temporary postponement on childbirth could turn permanent, said the report.

在2020年12月发布的一份报告中,韩国银行(央行)警告称,该国的生育率下降和人口老龄化可能会在新冠疫情的影响下“加速”。受疫情影响,二三十岁的年轻人工作和收入更加不稳定,从而有可能打乱他们生孩子的计划。报告称,经济和个人焦虑或许会让他们推迟要小孩,在某些情况下,暂时推迟生育可能会转变成永久不育。

The bank warned that South Korea may soon have the highest proportion of elderly people in the world, and urged stronger policies and childbirth incentives to sustain the country's economy.

韩国银行警告,韩国的老年人比例可能很快将达到世界最高水平,并敦促政府采取更强有力的政策和生育激励措施来支撑该国经济。

Other countries with low fertility rates have also seen their demographic difficulties deepen during the pandemic. Japan, which has struggled for years with low birth rates and an aging population, saw the number of reported pregnancies and marriages fall in the first half of 2020.

在其他生育率低的国家,人口难题也在疫情期间进一步加剧。多年来一直受低生育率和人口老龄化困扰的日本2020年上半年报告的怀孕和结婚人数都出现下降。

In October, Japanese Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate Tetsushi Sakamoto told reporters that the pandemic might be discouraging people from getting pregnant and starting families.

去年十月,日本少子化对策专任大臣坂本哲志告诉记者称,疫情可能会阻止人们怀孕生小孩。

There are similar reasons behind both Japan and South Korea's population decline -- a major one being a demanding work culture that makes it difficult to balance careers with family life.

日本和韩国人口减少背后都有相似的原因,其中一个主要原因是严苛的工作文化,让人难以平衡事业和家庭生活。

There is also a trend to delay or avoid marriage. In 2018, a majority of South Koreans aged 20 to 44 were single, according to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHSA). Among those who were not dating, 51% of men and 64% of women said they chose not to date so they can enjoy their hobbies or focus on education. Many say they just don't have the time, money, or emotional capacity to go on dates.

晚婚或不婚的风潮也在韩国蔓延。韩国保健及社会事务研究所的数据显示,2018年大多数年龄在20岁和44岁之间的韩国人为单身。那些没有在约会的单身人士中,有51%的男性和64%的女性称,他们选择不约会是为了从事自己的爱好或专心学习。许多人表示,不约会只是因为没有时间、金钱或情感能力。

In an effort to combat the falling birth and marriage rates, South Korea's government has implemented a number of initiatives and policies. In 2018, the government lowered maximum working hours from 68 hours a week to 52 hours last year, with some experts pointing to the declining fertility rate as a motivator.

为了对抗生育率和结婚率的下降,韩国政府已经实施了多项计划和政策。2018年,韩国政府将每周最长工作时间从68小时缩短为去年的52小时,一些专家指出生育率的下降是一个刺激因素。

More recently in December, the government released its 4th Basic Plan for Low Fertility and Aging Society, which lays out their plans for population policy over the next five years, including offering cash bonuses for childbirth, subsidies for childcare, and expanded benefits for multi-child families.

近期的举措是,韩国政府于12月发布了第四次低生育率和老龄化社会基本规划,规划中部署了未来五年的人口政策,包括提供生育现金红包、育儿津贴,并增加了多孩家庭的福利。

英文来源:美国有线电视新闻网

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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