Off the Demographic Cliff

Taiwan has now joined the select group of territories with Total Fertility Rate below 1.0.

(It’s a very select group: The only place thus listed by the CIA World Factbook is Macau. There is some variation in the TFR numbers depending on how they’re sourced, though. I have seen Singapore and Hong Kong both listed as below 1.0, though I can’t now find the references.)

Recall that 2.1 is replacement level, the figure you need to keep your population size constant. At 1.0 you’re only producing half as many babies as you need for stable population size.

There may be particular factors depressing this year’s numbers:

The government, however, blames the lower birth rate on superstition.

The year 2009 was considered an unlucky year to get married, and 2010 — the year of the tiger — a bad year to have children.

However, officials say this year is considered a lucky one as it is the country’s 100th anniversary. [I.e. the Republic of China, which is still Taiwan’s official name for itself — J.D.]

Between January and July, the number of marriages rose more than 12% compared to the same period last year, and the number of births also shot up.

Next year, the year of the dragon, is especially auspicious for having children.

Maybe so, but don’t be looking for a Somalia-level TFR (that would be 6.35). On the bright side, don’t be looking for a Somalia-scale famine either.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More