Friday, February 19, 2010

Fertility and Mortality

The Central Weather Bureau was spot on in its forecast of cold for Taiwan this week, as temps plummeted into the single digits. Sadly, 44 people were killed by the cold, Apple Daily reported. Fortunately the CWB expects the rain to leave and temps to rise into the high 20s by mid-week, just in time for school to start. My bike is getting lonely....

Meanwhile the government is encouraging people to have more babies despite the falling birthrates (Taiwan's now the lowest in the world) and widespread rejection of the idea of having kids. The Year of the Tiger (cue Al Stewart) is supposed to be a bad year for kids to be born in the traditional Chinese view, and Taiwan experiences a drop of 50K births in such a year. Tiger kids are supposed to be vicious or bring harm to the family, but also be especially creative. AFP has the numbers:
Government figures showed that 271,450 babies were born in the last Year of the Tiger in 1998, a fall of 54,550 people from the previous year.

By contrast, the figure rose to 305,312 in 2000, the last Year of the Dragon, considered to be a sign destined for good fortune.

Taiwan already has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, affecting everything from the education system to healthcare.

The island’s birth rate, based on the number of childbirths per 1,000 people each year, stood at 8.29 last year, according to interior ministry figures.

That compared to a global average of more than 20 births per 1,000 people, according to the United Nations.

There were 191,310 babies born in Taiwan last year, down 3.74 percent from the previous year.

Daily Links:
Absolutely nothing to do with Taiwan: Why People Pirate Movies (h/t to Dave W.)

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Anonymous said...

Labor shortage in China = higher wages coming.

Convergence is coming faster and faster.

Anonymous said...

The TIME article re birthrates in Twn is notable for stating that there's an important decline in births in HK and Macau, too. I wonder if a contributing factor is the decision of parents who don't want to raise children in a communist third-world dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely nothing to do with Taiwan II (but quite amazing): Great Chinese State Circus - Swan Lake

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Top pic, clouds crashing like waves on the mountains--amazing! I like.

BTW, Formosa Betrayed is coming out this Friday in theaters in big cities in the US. Keep an eye out!

Anonymous said...

Taiwan is one of the most densely populated places on earth: a low birthrate can do it some good.