Over the last few decades, the birth rates of most East and Southeast Asian countries have dropped dramatically. While women often had five children or more just a generation ago, they now have one or two – and many are not having children at all. At first, the decline in fertility was tied to a country’s economic development and progress, but now, the continued drop in fertility may be putting future prosperity at risk. After all: Who will drive the economy, pay taxes and take care of an ageing population when the old outnumber the young?
Like their counterparts in other parts of the world, young people across Asia face a multitude of choices and challenges as they decide whether to have children. Can we afford it? Can we combine work and family life? What about parental leave and affordable childcare? And will we even be able to have children when we want them, or will we need medical assistance?
We want to shed light on these issues and help our local partners to better understand the drivers and impacts of the dynamics they will be facing. We commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to study the demographic trends, childbearing choices, and family-related policy decisions of various countries in East and Southeast Asia.
Dive in to find out why fertility rates are dropping across Asia, why this matters, and how to support those wanting to have children.