The large number of newborns last year (the Year of the Dragon) has more than doubled Taiwan’s annual population growth rate within a two-year period, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday.
As of the end of last year, Taiwan’s total population had reached 23.31 million, 90,910 more than in 2011, pushing the annual population growth rate to 3.91 per 1,000, the ministry said.
The annual population growth rate was 1.83 per 1,000 in 2010 and 2.71 in 2011.
Hsieh Ai-ling (謝愛齡), the director of the ministry’s Department of Household Registration, said there were 234,599 newborns in Taiwan in the Year of the Dragon, which is considered to be auspicious, up 38,000 from the previous year and boosting the birthrate to 1.265 babies per woman of childbearing age.
In 2011, the average woman of childbearing age gave birth to only 0.89 children in Taiwan — the lowest birthrate in the world.
The ministry said the number of newborns this year is expected to exceed 200,000, based on the average number of newlyweds in the past three to five years. It expects the average birthrate to reach 1.2 in the near term.
Last year, 143,384 couples got married in Taiwan, compared with 21,943 from 2011.