- The fertility rate in Malaysia was the lowest in four decades in 2020.
- Dr. Mohd Uzir, commenting on the declining trend in births, said that the decrease is caused by “the increase in women’s level of education and participation in the labour force.”
Women’s Increasing Education and Work A Factor In Malaysia’s Lowest Fertility Rate In 40 Years Says Chief Statistician Datuk Dr Uzir
Malaysia had its lowest fertility rate in four decades last year, as reported by the Statistics Department, resulting in fewer infants being born in the country last year.
According to Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin, the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) among women of reproductive age dropped to 1.7 babies last year, down from 1.8 babies the year before.
“The 2020 fertility rate was the lowest in four decades. In 1970, the rate was 4.9 children per woman.”
In a statement on Thursday Oct 14 following the release of “Vital Statistics, Malaysia 2021" published by the department, Datuk Mahidin said “since 2013, Malaysia’s fertility rate has been below the United Nations Statistics Division’s replacement level of 2.1 babies.”
The fertility rate required to keep the population stable from generation to generation is referred to as the replacement level.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines TFR in a given year as the total number of children that would be born to each woman if she survived to the end of her child-bearing years and gave birth in accordance with current age-specific fertility rates.
According to Dr. Mohd Uzir, the country’s three main ethnic groups, Malays, Chinese, and Indians, all experienced a decrease in TFR last year.
“The TFR for bumiputras declined from 2.6 babies to 2.2 babies. For the Chinese, it fell from 1.5 babies to 1.0 babies, and among Indians, 1.7 babies to 1.2 babies in 2020.”
“The TFR for Chinese and Indians have been below the replacement level since 2003 and 2005 respectively,” he added.
Terengganu (2.9 babies), Putrajaya (2.8 babies), and Kelantan were the three most fertile states and territories last year (2.7 babies).
They are Malaysia’s only states with TFR levels above the replacement threshold.
source - mylondon
According to Dr. Mohd Uzir, Malaysia’s declining fertility rate mirrors that of other nations such as the United Kingdom (1.7 babies), the United States (1.7 children), Japan (1.4 babies), Indonesia (2.3 babies), and Singapore (1.1 babies).
According to him, the number of live births in 2020 was 470,195, the lowest in more than a decade.
“This is a decrease of 3.6% compared to 487,957 in 2019.”
“The decline in the number of live births has also contributed to the decline in Crude Birth Rate (CBR) from 15.0 births per thousand population in 2019 to 14.4 in 2020,” he said.
Dr. Mohd Uzir, commenting on the declining trend in births, said that the decrease is caused by “the increase in women’s level of education and participation in the labour force.”
“In addition, factors such as the increase in average age of first marriage, urbanisation, lifestyle changes, economic status and increased use of family planning methods also contribute to the declining trend of births,” said the chief statistician.