KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia welcome the birth of 516,645 babies last year, an increase of 3.9 per cent or 20,231 from 2008.Selangor continued to record the highest birth rate with 80,110 babies, followed by Sabah (60,190) and Johor (58,597), according to statistics compiled by the National Registration Department.
In 2008, Selangor was ahead with 76,932 births, Johor 58,517 and Sabah 51,773.
A total of 129,922 deaths were reported last year compared with 123,335 in 2008, which is an increase of 5.1 per cent or 6,587.
Selangor also recorded the highest number of death at 16,494, followed by Johor (15,749) and Perak (15,467).
According to a report by the Department of Statistics in its website, Malaysia’s population in 2007 was 27.17 million and increased to 27.73 million in 2008 and was expected to increase to 28.31 million last year.
Since the past few years, those in the 15 to 64 age category made up 63 per cent of the country’s population, below 15 years (32 per cent) and the remaining were those above 65 years-old.
A lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Marshitah Mohd Radzi, when contacted, said Malaysia had been having a healthy birth rate for the past 10 years.
She said that based on the National Population Policy 1985, Malaysia’s population was expected to grow to 70 million people in 2100.
“The growing family size will result in higher expenditure for the family. So, a positive growth in population will be achieved when the elements on family size and income grow in tandem,” she said.
She said the birth rate in the urban and rural areas should also be uniform.
According to demographic analysis, Marshitah said the family size of the Chinese in Malaysia was the smallest, followed by Indian.
The Malays still had a big family, she added.
A population and family census is expected to be conducted again this year. — Bernama