Why Majority Of Hong Kong Women Are Undecided To Have Children?

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A recent survey conducted by the Family Planning Association has found that about 15 percent of women in Hong Kong are undecided to have children, while more than 60 percent said they were determined not to have kids or another baby, and only 15.3 percent answered they wanted to raise kids.

The survey involved 1,514 married or cohabiting women aged 15 to 49, and 1,059 of their partners or spouses. The association conducts such surveys every five years since 1967 to determine family planning and other related issues. Hong Kong has been one of the lowest fertility rates around the world, the CIA World Factbook said the total fertility rate in the city is just 1.19 - fourth lowest worldwide based on the data in 2017, the South China Morning Post reported.

One of the determining factors why the majority of the women in the city were undecided to raise a child is due to the heavy financial burden. The sexual activity among Hongkongers also decline, wherein local couples said they only had sex an average of 3.7 times every month - lower compared to the figure of 4.3 in 2012.

The survey also found that women with only one child increased over the past years, constituting 38.5 percent of the participants. But, the government noted that women should have at least 2.1 children achieve replacement level - which means fertility rates should replace the dying generations.

Professor Paul Yip Siu-fai, the chairman of the association's research subcommittee, said the declining fertility rates can cause problems to the rapidly aging population. He warned that there could be wider economic and social problems, including a smaller proportion of taxpayers, a shrinking workforce, as well as skyrocketing medical costs.

Professor Yip believes the financial burden is the major factor why couples hesitate to raise a child. He said every family is worried about financial situations, responsibilities, and education. In 2016, a report published by the City University revealed that the monthly expenditure on raising a child aged 12 or younger is around HK$3,754 to HK$10,366 - depending on the family income.

Meanwhile, sharing the same room with children and crowded living quarters were other factors hindering couples' sex lives. Dr. Susan Fan Yun-sun, the association's executive director, urged couples to make earlier plans and suggested they should be creative and flexible in respect of time and place for sex and intimacy. She said couples could ask relatives to help care for their kids for a while and go out on a short vacation, but also added frequency wasn't the only indicator for quality of sex life.

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