Both the average age of first-time mothers and the proportion of first births to women aged 35 and above have significantly increased in just over a decade, figures from a recent report issued by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) showed.
The MOI report analyzed the 175,074 2019 births in Taiwan in a range of categories against annual figures dating back to 2009.
It showed that the average age of 31 for first-time mothers in 2019 was 1.72 years older than the 2009 average age of 29.28.
In terms of age groups, 35.57 percent of first births in 2019 were to women aged 30-34, compared to 27.93 percent for those aged 25-29 and 19.19 percent for those aged 35-39.
The report also found that the proportion of first births to women under the age of 30 had steadily declined since 2009, while the proportion of those to women aged 30-34 has dropped off after peaking in 2014.
Most dramatically, the proportion of first births to women aged 35 and above rose by 13.64 percentage points from 9.38 percent in 2009 to 23.02 percent in 2019, the report showed.
Overall, women aged 35 and above accounted for 30.94 percent of total births in Taiwan in 2019.
Of that figure, 38.3 percent were women having their first child, 42.8 percent were having their second child, and 18.9 percent were having their third (or more) child, the report said.
Of the 11 years covered in the report, a high of over 230,000 births was recorded in 2012, a Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, which many people consider lucky.
The low of 166,000 births recorded in 2010 was a Year of the Tiger -- a symbol which is traditionally associated with a number of taboos -- but it also followed a year when Taiwan was battered economically by the global financial crisis.
The 175,074 births recorded in 2019 were the lowest number recorded in nine years, and were 5,582 below the previous year's total of 180,656 births, the report said. (By Wang Cheng-chung and Matthew Mazzetta)