Workers unwilling to have children due to wages: poll


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Four out of five workers are unwilling to have children because they do not earn enough money, according to the results of an online survey.

The employment website yes123 released figures at a press conference yesterday showing that 79.2 percent of respondents were unwilling to have children or raise another child despite the recent government subsidies offered in an attempt to increase the nation’s birth-rate.

Taipei City recently announced a plan to open 100 childcare centers to ease the burden on parents. This follows a promise by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin earlier to offer a NT$20,000 (US$652) subsidy for new-born babies, with eligible families receiving a further monthly subsidy of NT$2,500.

Not earning enough money was the main reason given by respondents (75.8 percent) for why they were unwilling to have children, the survey showed.

An unsound education system (38.6 percent) and problems in society and concerns for children’s welfare (30.1 percent) were the second and third reasons.

Respondents showed that being overworked (27.3 percent) was another factor, while 21.8 percent expressed they felt children’s lives would be hard due to over-competitiveness in the future.

Nearly 60 percent of workers felt the basic monthly cost for raising a child was between NT$10,000 NT$30,000, with an overall average of NT$28,875.

An average household monthly income of NT$85,626 was therefore needed to raise a child, the poll showed.

Yes123 manager Hong Xue-zhen said she was “surprised” at the findings, but admitted that her child’s school and after-school-care fees alone amounted to NT$20,000.

Hong stated that the current monthly university graduate wage is NT$22,624, and with a yearly pay rise of 5 percent, it would take a couple 13 years to earn enough money to be able to raise a child, meaning women would be aged 35 by then.

One couple present said that even while their monthly household income was NT$125,000, due to high property prices in Taipei and pressure at work they still hadn’t had children.

The survey was carried out by yes123 from Sept. 20-28, collecting a total of 3,630 samples with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.