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Taiwan's birth rate expected to drop to record low this year.

Taipei, Oct. 29, 2009 (CENS)--Impacted by economic recession and falling salaries, young people in Taiwan can hardly afford parenthood. So the number of newborns is estimated to drop to a record low of 192,000 this year, plummeting 6,000 from 198,000 posted a year earlier, with the number predicted to further dip to below 190,000 in 2010.

The statistics released by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) show that the number of newborns in Taiwan reached 137,967 in the first three quarters of the year, down 3.4% from that of last year. MOI said that the average number of children born to each woman in Taiwan is only 1, much lower than the 1.7 recorded about a decade ago.

To minimize the impact of a graying society, some advanced countries are promoting marriage and parenthood, aiming to maintain the average birth rate at 1.6 to 1.8. For instance, the UK and France have in recent years kept the figure at 1.9 while the United States at 2.1.

MOI officials worry that the number of Taiwan's newborns would keep declining, impacted by the jobless rate that has been at a relatively high of above 6%, adding that the government has recently mapped out plans to encourage young couples to be parents. However, some of the plans need financial support to implement, a problem for the government that is suffering a deficit.
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Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Oct 29, 2009
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