Feature

Taiwan: Choosing between kids and a house

While the cost of housing isn’t the only reason Taiwanese families are so small, analysts agree that it’s “the main one,” said Tim Colebatch in The Age.

Tim ColebatchThe Age (Australia)

Taiwan’s housing crisis is turning into a population crisis, said Tim Colebatch. Investors across Asia who fled the stock markets because of the recession moved their money into real estate. Now, “young people have seen their dreams of home ownership evaporate as house prices boil.” Would-be home buyers—who call themselves “snails without shells”—have reacted “by scrapping the other big expense facing young couples: children.”

Taiwan’s fertility rate is the lowest in the world, at an average of 1.05 children per woman. While the cost of housing isn’t the only reason Taiwanese families are so small, analysts agree that it’s “the main one.” Unfortunately, Taiwan can’t just build more houses. It’s a small island, and existing buildings would have to be demolished to make way for bigger ones. Yet “ownership of those grimy old apartment blocks is fragmented among dozens of occupants and investors” who would have to be tracked down and bought out at great expense.

So the snails are left not only without shells, but without children to support them in their old age. By 2056, there will be just one worker for each retiree. If nothing changes, Taiwan, once an economic miracle, “will slowly become economically unviable.”

Recommended

Gambian president headed for landslide reelection, but opposition candidates dispute results
Gambians watch election results
stop the steal!

Gambian president headed for landslide reelection, but opposition candidates dispute results

Pope warns politicians not to exploit 'fear of the other'
Pope Francis says mass in Athens
Last day in Greece

Pope warns politicians not to exploit 'fear of the other'

10 things you need to know today: December 5, 2021
Chris Cuomo
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 5, 2021

Orthodox priest heckles Pope Francis in Greece
orthodox priest being arrested
Heretic!

Orthodox priest heckles Pope Francis in Greece

Most Popular

Late night hosts joke about Trump's secret COVID test
Donald Trump shares COVID with Joe Biden
Last Night on Late Night

Late night hosts joke about Trump's secret COVID test

Meghan Markle handed win in court battle with U.K. tabloid
Meghan Markle
meghan vs. tabloids

Meghan Markle handed win in court battle with U.K. tabloid

Fox News personality Lara Logan condemned for likening Fauci to Nazi doctor
Lara Logan.
wow

Fox News personality Lara Logan condemned for likening Fauci to Nazi doctor