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Taiwan's birth rate drops 10.8% from same period last year

TAIPEI--A total of 48,661 babies were born in Taiwan in the first quarter of this year, a drop of 10.8 percent from the same period of the previous year, and the number of newborns for the whole of 2014 is estimated to reach 190,000, according to statistics released Saturday by the Ministry of the Interior.

Among all the cities and counties in the country in Q1, Hsinchu City registered the highest 0.3 percent of crude birth rate, which indicates the average annual number of live births during a year per 1,000 persons in the population estimated at midyear, while Keelung City saw the lowest rate of 0.13 percent, the statistics show.

Compared with the same quarter of last year, all the cities and counties saw a decline in the crude birth rate, with Lienchiang County on the outlying Matsu Islands registering the largest decline of 0.05 percentage points, followed by Chiayi County, which posted a 0.04 percentage point fall.

The ministry indicated that eight out of every 100 newborns in Q1 had a parent who is a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau citizen or a foreign national.

Over the past 10 years, the rate of newborns whose mother is a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau citizen has dropped to 3.9 percent from 5.2 percent of the total, while the rate of those whose mother is a foreign national has fallen to 2.8 percent from 8.1 percent in 2004, according to the ministry.

The gender ratio among newborns during the period was 107.5 boys to every 100 girls, the ministry noted.

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