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Taiwan birthrate falls 13% to 199,113 in 2013: MOI

TAIPEI--The number of births registered in Taiwan dropped to 199,113 in 2013, a decrease of 13.23 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of the Interior said Thursday.

In 2013, the total fertility rate was 1.07 births per woman, down from 1.27 in 2012, the ministry said.

The number of babies born reached a high of 229,481 in 2012, mainly due to people's preferences for having children in the Year of the Dragon, as the dragon is considered the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac signs.

The Year of the Dragon started Jan. 23, 2012 and lasted until Feb. 9, 2013. It was followed by the less popular Year of the Snake, which lasts until Jan. 30, 2014.

The ministry predicted that the birth rate is likely to increase this year, based on a rise in the number of marriages last year.

In 2013, 147,636 marriages were registered in Taiwan, up 4,252, or 2.97 percent, from the previous year, according to the ministry.

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