Taiwan’s birth rate is in crisis, sinking far below the required amount to sustain a stable population. To get citizens married and having children, its government is exploring strategies including singles events, financial incentives, and online platforms.
Across East Asia, birth rates and marriage rates are falling below desired levels. Working culture, cost of living, and patriarchal attitudes seem to be the key issues driving citizens toward singledom in the region.
Taiwan is being proactive in its efforts to boost the number of its couples. Universities in Taiwan adopted courses on relationships and meeting new people, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Singles events, using artificial intelligence, and online platforms, are all being considered in this push to connect Taiwanese singles, said Lin Wan-i, the government minister overseeing the population policy.
For example, dating brand Paktor partnered with the New Taipei City government for offline dating events. The event was made up of ice-breaker activities, live music, and pop-up stores for shopping opportunities.
Politicians in Taiwan have been proposing more out-the-box strategies to spark an increase in population numbers. Presidential candidates have suggested providing subsidies for egg-freezing services, and for families with three children.
As looking after pets has become more popular in Taiwan, one presidential candidate suggested that the government can reward new parents with a cat or dog.
For Lin Wan-i, he will be looking to address the high cost of child care, increasing the number of public child-care facilities, deploying tuition subsidies and putting a cap on preschool fees.
While the Taiwanese government tries its hand at matchmaking, there is a long road ahead. “I don’t think it’s so easy to increase the marriage or fertility rate”, summarises Chen Yu-hua, an associate professor at National Taiwan University.