updated 18 May 2012, 23:45
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Tue, Sep 07, 2010
China Post/ANN
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Birth rate among Taiwanese foreign brides falling steadily

The number of newborns born to foreign brides in Taiwan plunged to a low of 17,038 in 2009, reaching only 56 percent of a peak of 30,428 recorded in 2003, according to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Health Promotion under the Cabinet-level Department of Health. Foreign brides mainly refer to women from mainland China and Southeast Asian countries who marry Taiwanese men.

The ratio of their babies to the total number of newborns in Taiwan hit a high of 13.51 percent in 2003, meaning that one out of every seven to eight babies were born to such brides.

The ratio fell under the 10 percent mark in 2008 and declined further to only 8.58 percent in 2009, indicating that one out every 11 to 12 babies was born to foreign brides.

The figures have clearly demonstrated that the number of newborns born to foreign brides has been trending downward at a rapid pace.

Observers attributed the decline in the number of babies which foreign brides have given birth to in the past few years mainly to the decrease in the number of foreign brides over the years.

Taiwanese men used to be a priority husband target for women from Southeast Asian countries during the years of Taiwan's economic prosperity. But their willingness to marry Taiwanese men has been undermined by Taiwan's economic shrinkage in recent years.

Statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the number of registered alien brides hit a high of 48,600 in 2003, and then declined steadily to a low of only 18,241 in 2009, accounting for only 38 percent of the 2003 level.

Along with the gradual drop in the number of foreign brides, the fertility rate of such brides has also been on the decline, according to DOH officials.

The officials cited tallies as indicating that the fertility rate of foreign brides in Taiwan declined from seven percent in 2007 to only four percent in 2009. This, however, is still higher than the average fertility rate of three percent recorded for Taiwanese women.

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