The number of unmarried Taiwanese between the ages of 20 and 40 reached 4.4 million this year, while the number of married couples fell by 6.18 percent from a year earlier, according to the latest poll by the Ministry of the Interior.
Last month, 7,844 couples got married, a decline of 596 couples, or 5.63 percent, from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Among the nation’s six special municipalities, New Taipei City had the highest number of marriages at 2,838, with Taichung coming in second at 1,948 and Taipei third at 1,880, the poll showed.
Taoyuan had the highest marriage rate at 5.16 percent, with Hualien City coming in second at 4.76 percent, the survey showed.
Penghu County had the lowest marriage rate at 1.88 percent, while Chiayi County came in second-last at 2.56 percent, the poll showed.
There has been virtually no increase in the number people getting married over the past decade, the Department of Household Registration said.
A total of 147,000 couples were married last year, it said, adding that from January to last month, there were only 96,824 marriages, 6,374 fewer from the same period last year.
Of the unmarried Taiwanese between the ages of 20 and 40, men account for 2.43 million and women account for 1.96 million, the department said.
There are 920,000 unmarried people in the 40-to-100 age group, it added.
Divorce rates have increased by 2.51, or 40,820 couples, between January and last month, compared with the same period last year, the department said.
Statistics show that there were more than 50,000 divorces every year over the past decade, the department added.
The average wages for people under 40 are relatively low, which would lead to a higher rate of unmarried people, National Taiwan University sociology professor Sun Chung-hsing (孫中興) said.
If living together is better than marriage and satisfies their sexual needs, then rational people would of course choose not to marry, as marriage does not present more benefits, Sun said.
The situation is not unique to Taiwan and other nations, such as Japan and France, are experiencing a similar situation, Sun said, adding that in those countries, as well as in Taiwan, the number of foreign spouses is increasing.
The government offers only several thousand New Taiwanese dollars in child subsidies, which makes it difficult for the younger generation to afford children, Sun said.
The modern emphasis on individualism means that it is not surprising that many people are choosing not to marry, Sun added.
Only with a doubling of salaries for younger people could the government begin to address their fear of marriage, Sun said.
The government should also provide tax or insurance incentives, as well as increased benefits, such as days off for pregnant women, to support population growth, Sun said.
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two
National Taiwan University Hospital’s (NTUH) Ethical Review Committee on Tuesday approved the hospital’s application to conduct human trials of mixed Moderna and Medigen COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital yesterday said that 220 volunteers aged 20 to 70 who have received one dose of a Moderna vaccine eight to 12 weeks ago are to be enrolled in the program. The volunteers are to be separated into two groups — a treatment group and a control group — and a double-blind study would be conducted, assigning Medigen or Moderna vaccines to the groups on a random basis, it said. The trial is expected to start
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
TAIWAN TIES: The foreign ministry said like-minded nations continue to express support for Taiwan’s ties with Lithuania, highlighting a letter by Slovenia’s PM US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday saluted Lithuania’s championing of democracy in Taiwan and Belarus. Lithuania in July agreed to let Taiwan open a representative office using its own name, prompting a pressure campaign by China. “We stand against economic coercion, including that being exerted by China,” Blinken said as he welcomed Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis in Washington. “We stand strongly for democracy, including in Belarus, where we’re very much working together,” Blinken said. Landsbergis told reporters afterward that he and Blinken discussed “economic, financial, political measures” that can be taken to withstand Chinese pressure. “We discussed various possible measures