First 9 months see historic rise in births

The China Post news staff

The number of newborns in Taiwan in the first nine months of the year represented a significant increase of 19,567 or 15.9 percent from a year earlier to reach 142,345, marking the first rise of its kind in 12 years, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

Interior Minister Jiang Yi-hua noted that the number of newborn babies in September alone hit a 21-month high of 18,003, translating into an annual crude birth rate of 0.82 percent.

The crude birth rate is the number of live childbirths per 1,000 people per year. The Department of Household Registration under the MOI estimated that the number of childbirths will soar past the level of 190,000 by the end of this year. The figure will translate into a crude birth rate of at least 0.82 percent, surging from 0.721 percent recorded in 2010, for the first rise of its kind in 12 years. A further breakdown of the same tallies showed that there were 73,875 baby boys born in the first nine months of the year, accounting for 51.9 percent of total newborns in the period, compared to 68,470 baby girls and 48.1 percent.

In terms of crude birth rate, Lianjiang County posted the highest rate of 1.02 percent, followed by Hsinchu City with 0.927 percent, and Kinmen County with 0.861 percent, among others. By contrast, Keelung City of northern Taiwan posted the lowest crude birth rate of 0.382 percent in the same nine-month period among local counties and cities. Pingtung County of southern Taiwan and Nantou County of central Taiwan also recorded comparatively lower rate of 0.45 percent and 0.489 percent, respectively.

Compared with 2010, all the local counties and cities witnessed higher crude birth rates for the first nine months of this year, with the exception of Keelung City, which saw a decline of 0.05 of a percentage point.

Lianjiang County again posted the highest increase of 0.27 of a percentage point in crude birth rate during the January-September period. Taipei City followed with a rise of 0.188 of a percentage point, and Miaoli County came third with a gain of 0.122 of a percentage point. The same tallies also indicated that up to 96.15 percent or 136,863 of total newborns in the nine-month period were born in the wedlock, and the remaining 3.85 percent were illegitimate childbirths, down 0.73 of a percentage point from a year earlier.