by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by TMR FILE
THE fertility rate in Malaysia remains unchanged at 1.8 babies per woman aged between 15 and 49 last year, same as 2018, while in 2017, the rate was 1.9 babies.
This fertility rate has dropped below the replacement level of 2.1 babies, where the average number of babies born during a woman’s reproductive period is insufficient to replace herself and her partner.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said 11 states recorded the total fertility rate (TFR) below 2.1 babies per 15-to 49-year-old woman, with Perlis (two), Negri Sembilan (two) and Pahang (two).
Melaka recorded its TFR at (1.8), Perak (1.8), Labuan (1.8), Kuala Lumpur (1.7), Selangor (1.6), Sarawak (1.6), Sabah (1.4) and Penang (1.3).
“The trend is in tandem with other developed countries like Australia (1.7), the UK (1.7), the US (1.7), Singapore (1.1) and South Korea (one),” he said in a report on Vital Statistics Malaysia yesterday.
This report also shows that the district of Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, recorded the highest crude birth rate last year with 26.6 births per thousand population, while Kinabatangan, Sabah, recorded the lowest rate at 3.5 births.
The report contains birth and death statistics by demographic characteristics in Malaysia for 2019.
It revealed Malaysia’s lowest live births over a decade at 487,957 last year, a decrease of 2.8% compared to 501,945 in 2018.
This decline has contributed to the decrease in crude birth rate from 15.5 births in 2018 to 15 per thousand populations in 2019.
On the other hand, from the total live births in 2019, 7,862 babies were twins and 144 babies were triplets.
Concurrent with the decline in birth rates, the average age of mothers at first birth rose 0.1 years from 27.8 (2018) to 27.9 years in 2019.
In general, an increase in the average age of mothers at first birth gives an indication of a shorter reproductive period of women.
Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said 173,746 deaths were recorded last year, an increase of 1% compared to 172,031 deaths in 2018.
He said the crude death rate remained at 5.3 per thousand population during the same period.
“Kanowit district in Sarawak recorded the highest crude death rate last year with 8.9 deaths per thousand population. Meanwhile, Kinabatangan recorded the lowest rate of 0.9 deaths.
“Changes in the age structure of the population were among the contributors to the increase in the number and mortality rate in Malaysia,” he explained.
Concurrent with the increase in the elderly population in Malaysia (65 years and above), from 1.4 million people in 2010 to 2.3 million people in 2020, the mortality rate also shows a slight increase but at a slower pace every year from 2011 to present.
Mohd Uzir, who is also the census commissioner, stated that the Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2020 (MyCensus 2020) is being implemented in two phases with the theme “Your Data is Our Future”.
The first phase is carried out online (e-Census) from July 7 to Dec 21, while the second phase will take place from Jan 20 to Feb 6, 2021, through face-to-face interviews.
An estimated nine million of the living quarters will be covered during MyCensus 2020, with 32.7 million population.
As of Nov 18, 18.4% of the living quarters completed the e-Census, which involved 16.8% of the population.
He said people are advised to complete the e-Census before the deadline.
“Otherwise, the census enumerator will visit your living quarters for Phase 2.
“The data collected through MyCensus 2020 is useful for policymaking and planning, as well as monitoring of programmes. It is also useful for socio demographic studies and research,” he concluded.
Further information on MyCensus 2020 can be obtained through the census portal at www.mycensus.gov.my.
Read our earlier report