TAIPEI, Taiwan, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A report blames Taiwan's declining birthrate on costly childcare and government policies that do little to ease the burden on the middle class.
The report was prepared by Control Yuan, a government department that monitors other agencies and policies, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported Saturday. Researchers found the average cost of daycare, kindergarten and the other expenses associated with raising young children can come to more than half the average incomes of couples in their 20s and early 30s.
About 70 percent of the country's children are in private kindergartens because places in public ones are limited. The private kindergartens cost two to four times as much.
Most government assistance goes to low-income families.
About 166,000 children were born last year in Taiwan, down 20,000 from 2009, Xinhua, the official government news agency in China, said. The birth rate hit a record low.
The population increased by 42,351 to 23.16 million. About one in 10, 10.74 percent, were above the age of 65, suggesting the population is aging.