Natural Decrease in the Context of Lowest-low Fertility: South Korea, 20052014
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Springer International Publishing AG 2018. Demographic research on natural increase and decrease indicates that it is at the subnational level of a country where natural decrease (more deaths than births) first begins to appear. Research on this topic at the subnational level in South Korea, is scarce if non-existent. We describe the patterns and the factors of natural decrease and natural increase among the 161 counties, which are known in South Korea as Sis and Guns. The dependent variable is the birth/death ratio, i.e. the number of births per 1,000 deaths occurring in the county in the 2005-2014 period. The two independent variables, measured for the year of 2005, are the child/woman ratio, i.e., the number of persons aged 0-4 divided by the number of women aged 15-49 in each county, multiplied by 1,000; the ratio of persons of age 65 or greater in the population divided by the total population in each county, multiplied by 100. We hypothesize that the greater the elderly population in a county in 2005, the lower the birth/death ratio throughout the 2005-2014 period; that the greater the child/woman ratio in a county in 2005, the greater the birth/death ratio throughout the 2005-2014 period. We estimate a multivariate spatial error model predicting the birth/death ratio of a county given that there was significant spatial clustering of b/d ratios among the counties (Morans I = .203, p = 0.00). The results of the spatial error regression model support our hypotheses with the statistically significant effects of the two independent variables on the birth/death ratio.