Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Taipei No. 1 in births among special municipalities

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei had the highest birthrate among the nation’s five special municipalities in the first 11 months of the year, a feat it also achieved last year and in 2011, and which is attributed to the success of the incentives offered by the city government to encourage residents to have children.

Statistics compiled by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Civil Affairs show that the population of newborns in Taipei grew 35.6 percent in 2011 from the previous year and 59.2 percent last year.

As of the end of last month, there was a 46.6 percent increase year-on-year in the number of newborns, department director Huang Lu Ching-ju (黃呂錦茹) said.

Taipei had 9.54 births per 1,000 people in 2011, 11.08 per 1,000 last year and 9.1 per 1,000 in the period from January to last month, Huang Lu said, adding that the city’s birthrate was higher than those in the other four municipalities — New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung — for each year.

The birthrate in the first 11 months of this year was also higher than the national average of 7.78 births per 1,000 people during the same period, Huang Lu added.

She attributed the city’s success in boosting its birthrate to an incentive program that began in January 2011. Under the “pregnancy encouragement” program, families who have a baby receive a NT$20,000 payout and monthly subsidies are available for parents with a child five years old or younger.

Subsidies are also available for public preschools offering after-school care and companies that provide daycare facilities for workers with children.

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