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[Graphic News] School-age population estimated to dip below 5 million in 2026

The number of elementary and secondary school students in South Korea is expected to drop below 5 million for the first time in 2026, the government said, citing an ongoing decline of the school-age population.

According to the Ministry of Education, the number of elementary, middle and high school students is expected to decrease each year, falling from 5.28 million this year to 5.21 million in 2023, 5.14 million in 2024 and 5.04 million in 2025.

In 2026, when students born in 2007 - which was marked by an exceptionally high birth rate - will graduate from high school, the population of school aged children is projected to dip below 5 million to 4.88 million, the ministry noted, adding the number will further decline to 4.72 million in 2027. (Yonhap)

By Nam Kyung-don (
Korea Herald daum