Mon, Aug 15, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Women waiting longer to begin having children


The average age of a Taiwanese women on the birth of their first child reached 27.4 years last year, 1.5 years older than the 1994 average, according to statistics released by the government yesterday.

The tallies compiled by the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) show that 37.5 percent of the women who gave birth last year were aged between 25 and 29, followed by 27.8 percent aged from 30 to 34.

Compared with the level recorded 10 years ago, the birth rate posted by the 25-29 age group was down by 4.8 percentage points compared with the level of a decade ago. Meanwhile, women over the age of 30 accounted for more births, indicating that women in Taiwan are increasingly having their first child at an older age and fewer children overall, according to DGBAS officials.

According to the same statistics, births among women in the 30-34 and 35-39 age groups increased by 4.6 percentage points and 3.6 percentage points respectively over the 1994 levels, while women older than 40 posted a birth rate of 1.2 percent, up 0.7 percentage points.

A total of 218,000 children were born last year, with 52 percent being a woman's first child, and 36 percent and 12 percent being second and third children.

According to a survey by the US Bureau of the Census on the global population, women of child-bearing age around the world had 2.8 children on average last year, with those in developed countries averaging 1.6.

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