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.
一位母親三月九日在荷蘭阿姆斯特丹的電影院,抱著嬰兒觀賞電影。

Photo: EPA
照片:歐新社

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)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. low-income adj.

低收入的 (di1 shou1 ru4 de5)

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

(台灣目前有約十二萬低收入戶。)

2. subsidy n.

補助 (bu3 zhu4)

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

(該公司獲收政府補助研發綠色科技。)

3. neonate n.

新生兒 (xin1 sheng1 er2)

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

(航空公司通常不讓出生七天內的新生兒登機。)


因國內生育率持續下滑,去年底我國未滿十二歲兒童僅二六二點九萬人,五年來減少近五十五萬人,減幅高達百分之十七點三;而且,國內弱勢兒童越來越多,去年低收入兒童生活補助達一0七點六萬人次、中低收入兒少生活扶助一三八點八萬人次,分別較五年前增加三十點三萬及四十七點七萬人次。

行政院主計總處近日發布「兒童統計概況」,去年底十二歲以下兒童人數再降至二六二點九萬人,占總人口比率更降至百分之十一點三。不過,國人重男輕女觀念仍未改變,新生兒以男嬰較多,去年底兒童性比例為一0九點二,亦即一0九位男童才有一百位女童。

立法院親民黨團四月三日召開記者會指出,馬政府執政以來,兒少犯罪比率暴增,青少年離家與失蹤事件更是大幅增加。親民黨團總召李桐豪表示,一百年青少年失蹤事件,比馬上任的九十七年升高約百分之十七,失蹤原因以「離家出走」為第一,其次是「上下學未歸」,顯然整個社會環境與學校環境都出了問題。

(自由時報記者鄭琪芳、顏若瑾)

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