Last year marked historic low in the number of births

Staff Writer, with CNA

Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 2

A total of 166,886 babies were born in Taiwan last year, the lowest number in the country’s history, government statistics showed yesterday.

The number of births last year was 24,424 lower than in 2009, statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) showed.

The decrease underscored the declining birthrate in Taiwan, which is an issue of concern for the government and economists, observers said.

Meanwhile, 138,819 marriages were recorded in the country last year, an increase of 21,720 from the previous year. The number of divorces totaled 58,115 last year, up by 892 from 2009, the figures showed.

In terms of population density, the average was 640 people per square kilometer, with Taipei City having the highest density of 9,635 people per square kilometer, followed by Chiayi City with 4,538 and Hsinchu City with 3,988, according to the statistics.

The least populous areas were Taitung and Hualien counties, with 66 people and 73 people per square kilometer.

Nantou County in central Taiwan had the third-lowest population density of 128 people per square kilometer.

As of the end of last year, Taiwan’s population was 23,162,123, an increase of 42,351 from the 2009 figure.

The under-15 age group made up 15.65 percent of the total population and the 15 to 64-year-old age group accounted for 73.61 percent.

Citizens 65 years old and over accounted for 10.74 percent of the population, which indicated the continuation of the trend toward a rapidly aging society that has been going on for years.