• Nearly 90 Korean Cities, Counties On Brink Of Vanishing
A view of Gongju in North Chungcheong Province. Gongju is one of 89 "depopulation areas" in South Korea 
facing extinction. (Photo: Yonhap)

Dozens of cities and counties across South Korea are in danger of extinction due to population decline.

The interior ministry announced Monday 89 "depopulation areas" have been designated for intensive support from the central government, including financial support.

In the capital region, four counties -- Gapyeong, Yeoncheon, Ganghwa and Ongjin -- were included, while three districts in Busan and two in Daegu were also listed.

It is the first time the country has declared specific regions in danger of vanishing because of depopulation.

The government has been trying to tackle the issue along with overcrowding in the capital region, which has as left many non-capital areas struggling with chronic loss of young people.

South Korea reported its first natural population decline in 2020 as the number of deaths outpaced that of births, which dropped 10 percent on-year to a record low 272,400.

The ministry said it will help the designated areas implement customized policies to escape their population crisis.

The government's Local Extinction Response Fund, set at 1 trillion won annually for a period of 10 years, will also be extended to depopulation areas to help them create more jobs and bring back young people.

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