The number of babies born in 2018 in Taiwan is estimated to have dropped to 185,000, the lowest in five years, according to the island's authority in charge of development.
Only around 164,000 babies were born by the end of November in 2018, data released by the island's statistical authority showed. The number of newborns on the island has been trending down since 2014 when 213,800 babies were born.
The decline in births will continue if local authorities do not take practical measures, warned Hsueh Cherng-tay, a professor with Taiwan University, citing fewer marriages, more divorces and weak economic growth and social welfare as factors behind the birth rate drop.
A low birth rate may further lead to the fall of the working population and exert more burden on society, according to experts.
Long challenged by an aging population and a low birth rate, Taiwan has introduced new policies to encourage its citizens to have more children. A family will be offered a monthly allowance of at least 2,500 new Taiwan dollars (82 U.S. dollars) for each of their children.