Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taiwan's birth rate and other statistics

This article in the Taiwan News has me thinking a little bit tonight. The article mostly focuses on Taiwan's declining birth rate, but some stats at the end of the article have the gears of my brain spinning. "In terms of marital status, 132,450 newborns, or 96 percent of the total, were born to married couples, while 5,489 or 3.98 percent were born out of wedlock, and 28, or 0.02 percent, were deserted babies or orphans. Taitung County in eastern Taiwan had the highest number of illegitimate babies, followed by neighboring Hualien County and then Keelung City. The number of babies born out of wedlock marked a 0.22 percent decrease from the 2008 level, but an increase of 1.06 percent from 1997, according to MOI tallies."

So... 3.98 percent of babies in the first 9 months of 2009 were born out of wedlock and 0.02 percent were deserted. Let's just round that up to say that 4 percent of babies in Taiwan were born to unmarried mothers this year. I look around me, and I see unmarried pregnant women everywhere. What are the statistics in the US?

The CDC National Center for Health Statistics reports that 4 out of 10 births in 2007 were to unmarried mothers, with 6 out of 10 births to women ages 20-24 were among unmarried women. The press release goes on to list statistics from other countries... which are interesting to look at as well.

Thinking tonight about how it would feel to be an unmarried young women in Taiwan, choosing to continue a pregnancy, knowing that I'm very much in the minority.


  1. Very interesting article. We are adopting from Taitung County. The woman who runs the house there posted this on her page a few weeks ago, "Taiwan has the highest rate of unwed pregnancies in Asia- There are about 1500 cases of abortions a day in Taiwan." She counsels many of the women thinking of abortions. Thanks for posting this. I love following your blog:)

  2. Yep, I saw this too! My daughter, Janie, is from Taitung County-so these stats hit home


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