Thailand to tackle declining birth rate as national issue

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Cholnan Srikaew, the Public Health Minister, announced the government’s intent to prioritise the country’s dwindling birth rate as a national issue. In a response to Senator Ampol Chindawattana’s query regarding the falling birth rate, Cholnan explained that the challenge isn’t straightforward to address due to shifting priorities and socioeconomic values.

The government, however, recognised the urgency of the situation, given the substantial economic and social repercussions of an unchecked decline in the birth rate. Experts projected that under the current trend, the population of Thailand will reduce to approximately 33 million in around six decades.

Cholnan elaborated that if this trend persists, Thailand would see a population break-up of around 18 million elder citizens, 14 million adults of working age, and a mere one million individuals aged between 0 and 14 in about 60 years.

Rather than merely focusing on boosting the nation’s birth rate, the government intends to pay equal attention to the quality of human development and capital. The government’s proposals to encourage births and further invest in human capital development are currently under Cabinet review.

Upon approval, these plans will be officially announced as part of the national agenda. Cholnan also disclosed that a committee would be established under this five-year plan to ensure that all ministries are aligned in implementing measures and policies in a coordinated manner.

In related news, Thailand experienced its lowest birth rate in seven decades, hitting a 71-year low. Despite a target of 700,000 births, only 502,000 babies were born, marking a 30% shortfall. This decline led to a reduced number of Thai children, constituting 16.3% of the population. Officials, alarmed by the trend, identified key causes, including changing gender roles, economic factors, and societal imbalances.

To address the crisis, the government plans to boost the birth rate by expanding financial support programs for families. Experts label the situation a crisis, emphasising the urgency to address demographic challenges.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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