Thais support state subsidies for childcare, free education to boost birthrate

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

A recent poll conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) reveals that most Thais are advocating for state subsidies for childcare and free education to encourage childbearing amidst Thailand’s transition into an ageing society with a declining birthrate.

The poll was carried out from September 26 to 28, with 1,310 participants aged 18-40 from various educational backgrounds, professions, and income groups across the country. The respondents shared a blend of marital statuses and numbers of children, with 29.39% being unmarried and not in a relationship, and 26.57% officially married with at least one child.

Among the 759 respondents who did not have children, 53.89% expressed a desire to have one or more kids while 44.00% did not, and 2.11% were either unsure or disinterested. The reasons for not wanting to have a child, as stated by the 334 respondents who chose so, varied.

The leading reasons were the financial burden of raising children and uncertainty about the children’s survival in the present social conditions, at 38.23% each, followed closely by not wanting to shoulder childcare responsibilities at 37.72%.

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On being asked about their concerns regarding the potential decrease in newborns in the future, 50.53% showed no concern at all, 23.13% were not particularly worried, while a combined total of 26.34% expressed either fair or high concern.

When queried about the measures they believe the state should implement to motivate Thai people to have children, with multiple answers allowed, the top choices were free education (65.19%) and subsidies for childcare until the age of 15 years old (63.66%).

Other popular answers included reducing income tax for people with children (30.00%), granting more leave days for parents (29.47%), and providing financial rewards for having a child (21.91%).

This survey provides a clear reflection of the public’s expectations from the state to support childbearing and rearing, underlining the significance of such measures in a society grappling with an ageing population and a decreasing birth rate, Bangkok Posted reported.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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