Why Thai birth rate is on the decline


Various economic uncertainties as well as the high cost have made many couples give up thoughts of raising a child, according to a recent research.

Parents would need at least 33,000 baht to raise a child, according to survey results released on Wednesday by iPrice Group, a leading research company in the Asean region.

According to Thailand's Bureau of Registration Administration, many people have cancelled their plans to raise a child due to various uncertainties amid the Covid-19 crisis, such as being unemployed, company bankruptcy and high cost of living.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry's Department of Provincial Administration revealed that the country's birth rate had decreased significantly, similar to the Philippines and Vietnam.

The birth rate between 2017 and 2021 was as follows:

▪︎ 544,570 people were born in 2021, down 7.28 per cent year on year.

▪︎ 587,368 people were born in 2020, down 4.98 per cent year on year.

▪︎618,193 people were born in 2019, down 7.22 per cent year on year.

▪︎666,357 people were born in 2018, down 5.17 per cent year on year.

▪︎702,755 people were born in 2017, down 0.18 per cent year on year.

iPrice Group's survey on parents' behaviour in six countries -- Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand -- from October 1-31 indicated that the price of child car seat, stroller, toys, bassinet, etc is around 38,000 baht.

Meanwhile, parents have to buy diapers, wipes and powdered milk worth about 1,000 baht weekly. This does not include medical expenses and other utensils in case of emergency.

The minimum wage in Thailand is around 9,000-10,000 baht, so they would have to save all their money for three months to raise one child. The case is similar to Vietnamese and Filipino people where minimum wage is US$185 (6,000 baht) and US$314 (10,440 baht), respectively.

The survey also pointed out that parents paid attention to buying toys and children's desks online in a bid to relieve children's stress amid the new normal.