Tue, Apr 17, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Birthrate continues to fall 550,000 less children under the age of 12 than 5 years ago
生育率下滑 十二歲以下兒童 五年少了五十五萬人

A mother holds her baby while watching a movie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on March 9.

Photo: EPA

As the birthrate in Taiwan continues to plummet, there are now 550,000 less children under the age of 12 than five years ago. The number of children under the age of 12 at the end of last year was 2.629 million, 17.3 percent less than five years before. On the other hand, the number of children from disadvantaged families continues to rise. At the end of last year, there were 1.076 million children from low-income families receiving subsidies from the government, while 1.388 million children from middle-income families were receiving government aid, an increase of 303,000 and 477,000 respectively when compared to five years before.

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics under the Executive Yuan recently released its “General Statistics on Children.” At the end of last year, the number of children under the age of 12 in Taiwan had fallen to 2.629 million, which is only 11.3 percent of the total population. The traditional favoring of boys over girls also remains unchanged as boys still significantly outnumber girls among neonates, with 109.2 boys per 100 girls as of the end of last year.

The People First Party’s (PFP) delegation in the Legislative Yuan held a press conference on April 3, during which they said the crime rate among children and adolescents has risen rapidly, and the number of children and adolescents running away from home or going missing has also significantly increased. PFP convener Thomas Lee said the number of missing children in 2011 had risen by 17 percent compared to when Ma took office in 2008. Running away from home was the number one reason for children going missing, while not returning to school was the second most common reason, showing that there are serious problems in society and schools today.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)


1. low-income adj.

低收入的 (di1 shou1 ru4 de5)

例: There are currently around 120,000 low-income households in Taiwan.


2. subsidy n.

補助 (bu3 zhu4)

例: The company receives a subsidy from the government to develop green technology.


3. neonate n.

新生兒 (xin1 sheng1 er2)

例: Airlines usually don’t allow neonates under 7 days old to board domestic flights.






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