| GEO Health|
Taiwan unveils birth-boosting slogan
| Updated at: 1440 PST, Wednesday, September 01, 2010|
TAIPEI: Taiwan's government on Wednesday unveiled a new slogan aimed at encouraging couples to have more babies, in its latest bid to boost the island's dwindling birth rate which is among the world's lowest.
"Children -- our best heirloom" was chosen via an on-line poll after garnering nearly a third of the 31,000 responses, followed by "happiness is very easy, baby one two three" and "it's good to have a child", said the interior ministry.
The slogan's writer will get a cash prize of one million Taiwan dollars (31,250 US) while the phrase will be printed on government literature, it said in a statement.
Taiwan's authorities have been offering various incentives in an unsuccessful bid to boost birth rates, amid growing concerns that a severe manpower shortage will trigger serious social and economic problems.
The island's capital Taipei, where birth rates dived to an all-time low in 2009 with fewer than 20,000 babies being born, will start paying couples 20,000 Taiwan dollars for every newborn from next year.
Taiwan's overall birth rate stood at 8.29 births per 1,000 people last year, according to the ministry. That compares with a global average of more than 20 births per 1,000 people, according to the United Nations.
Last year 191,310 babies were born in Taiwan, down 3.74 percent from the previous year.