The Growing Complexity and Diversity of Taiwanese Families

Taiwanese families look different than they did a couple of decades ago. Partnering behaviours have changed substantially, with young people increasingly choosing to postpone marriage and parenthood. The mean age of first marriage has risen to 32.6 for men and 30.4 for women as of 2019. Gains in opportunities outside of marriage – together with the increasing costs of raising children – mean that the traditional male-breadwinner family has lost its appeal to young women. This is especially the case for well-educated women. Even though the total fertility rate (TFR) has fallen at a rapid pace over the past few decades, childbirth remains strongly associated with marriage.

Changing Families in Contemporary Taiwan

Written by Yen-hsin Alice Cheng. While family and social values are gradually becoming more liberal, more substantial changes in socially acceptable behaviours require more time. Hence, in addition to policies promoting childbearing, the Taiwanese Government should also consider how to sustain or improve citizens well-being, regardless of their union status, in an ultra-low fertility context. Research on the obstacles to fertility in East Asia mostly studied the married population, yet obstacles to marriage among the single population are perhaps equally important in this region.

Evaluating the impact of Taiwan’s fertility policy

Written by Wen Shan Yang. In 2010 Taiwan’s total fertility rate (TFR, the number of children who would be born per woman during her life time using an estimation based on the current year) of 0.89 was so low that it became a member of a dubious club: the lowest-low fertility countries in the world club. According to this estimate, a woman in Taiwan will have borne less than one child after passing her child-bearing age of 49.

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