Marriages and births down, divorces up in 1st seven months of 2017

Taipei--The number of births, marriages and deaths in Taiwan in the first seven months of 2017 has declined from the same period of last year, according to household registration statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on Friday.

A total of 110,379 babies were born from January to July, down 7,033, or 6 percent, from the same period last year, the statistics showed.

The Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology warned last month of the low number of births its members were seeing this year.

Should the percentage decline stay steady over the final five months of the year, it will result in about 196,000 babies born in Taiwan in 2017.

That would be the lowest number since 2011 and the third lowest since the early 2000s, when annual births began to fall toward the current range of about 195,000 to 210,000 a year.

It would also break a three-year streak in which births have been relatively strong. The number of babies born in Taiwan in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 210,383, 213,598 and 208,440, all higher than for any year since 2004, with the exception of 2012.

Fewer couples walked down the aisle in the first seven months as marriage registrations from January to July totaled 80,874, down 4,445 from the same period of 2016, according to MOI statistics.

A total of 31,000 couples, or 529 more than last year, filed for divorce in the first seven months, the statistics showed.

If the trend holds to the end of the year, it will mean the number of divorces in Taiwan will rise for the third consecutive year after steadily declining between the mid-2000s and 2014.

As for deaths, the total number of people who died in Taiwan from January to July was 101,047, down 2,828 year-on-year.

Should the number of deaths fall for the year as a whole, it will break a long-term trend that has seen the number of deaths in Taiwan rise steadily in recent decades as the population has grown and aged.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel