Taiwan’s population fell for the first time in 2020, the government said on Friday, the island joining Japan and South Korea, which are also experiencing the onset of a demographic crisis.
Last year, Taiwan recorded 165,000 births, down 7% from 2019.
For the first time, the island recorded more deaths than births, dropping the population by 0.2% to 23.56 million, the Interior Ministry said. .
Since 2000, the birth rate in Taiwan has been steadily declining, while salaries have not changed over the same period.
Taiwanese women are marrying later and later, choosing to have fewer children or to remain single, according to demographers.
The rising cost of living associated with insufficient childcare support has also forced some women to postpone their maternity plans.
The rapid aging of the population raises concerns that the island’s economy will suffer from a decrease in the quantity of labor.
The lowest number of births dates back to 2010, the year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar, generally marked by a decline in births.
The Year of the Dragon, 2024, is considered more conducive to an increase in the number of births.
In 2019, Taiwan’s birth rate was the second lowest in the world after South Korea, where the population also declined for the first time in 2020.
According to experts, the origins of this phenomenon in South Korea are multiple, such as the cost of raising children and soaring house prices.
In addition to these two factors, there is an ultra-competitive society in which well-paying jobs are difficult to find and mothers who struggle to manage both professional and family life.