Malaysia's 2022 Fertility Rate Was The Country's Lowest In 50 Years

The country recorded a 3.8% drop, or 16,620 less births, in 2022.

Cover image via New Straits Times & Malaysia China Insight

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Malaysia's fertility rate in 2022 was the country's lowest in 50 years, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia

Malaysia recorded 423,124 births in 2022, a 3.8% (16,620 births) drop in comparison with 439,744 births in 2021, reported FMT.

Chief Statistician Datuk Uzir Mahidin said the national fertility rate was still above the replacement level of 2.1 children from 1970 to 2012, meaning the average number of children born per woman was sufficient to replace herself and her partner.

However, in 2022, the number declined to 1.6 children for every woman aged between 15 and 49, as compared to 1.7 children in 2021.

"This declining trend in fertility rate signals the potential for demographic crises, such as shrinking population growth, and an ageing population, as well as economic and social implications," Uzir said in a statement.

Malays recorded the highest fertility rate at 2.1 children per woman aged between 15 and 49, while Chinese recorded the lowest fertility rate at 0.8 children per woman

Only Terengganu, Kelantan, and Pahang had fertility rates above the replacement level of 2.1.

Below is the breakdown of the fertility rates of each state and federal territory:
– Terengganu: 2.9
– Kelantan: 2.7
– Pahang: 2.1
– Kedah: 1.8
– Putrajaya: 1.8
– Melaka: 1.7
– Perak: 1.7
– Perlis: 1.7
– Negeri Sembilan: 1.7
– Johor: 1.6
– Labuan: 1.6
– Sarawak: 1.6
– Selangor: 1.5
– Sabah: 1.4
– Pinang: 1.2
– Kuala Lumpur: 1.2

FMT reported that developed countries, namely the US (1.7 children), Australia (1.7 children), the UK (1.6 children), Japan (1.3 children), and South Korea (0.8 children), recorded a downward trend in fertility rates.

"Similar trends have also been observed in ASEAN countries, such as Vietnam (1.9 children), Brunei (1.8 children), Thailand (1.3 children), and Singapore (1.1 children)," said Uzir.

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