Taiwan Reports World’s Lowest Birthrate

Posted August 15th, 2011 at 7:20 am (UTC-5)
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Taiwan said Monday its fertility rate has fallen to 0.9 births per woman, the lowest figure on record for any country.

That compares to a birthrate of 1.03 per woman in Taiwan a year earlier, and places it below the Chinese territory of Macau with a fertility rate of 0.92. The next lowest rate is in Hong Kong at 1.07.

Singapore, Japan and South Korea also have some of the world's lowest birthrates.

Taiwan officials attribute the falling birthrate to economic concerns and the high cost of education. They also note that some families held off having children in 2010 because the Year of Tiger is considered an inauspicious time to be born.

Authorities worry the trend eventually will leave Taiwan without the human resources to maintain its industrial base. The government is considering various subsidies and tax breaks for parents to encourage couples to have more children.