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This compares to 2.06 children per woman in the United States and 1.91 in the U. According to the World Factbook, an average two children per woman is needed to maintain a population at its current level.

"Asia as a whole is aging for sure, and this poses two big strategic challenges," said Donghyun Park, senior economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

"One is its negative impact on economic growth, and the other is the need to provide adequate income support for the large and growing elderly population." Demographic Tax Asia has long reaped the benefits of what is called a demographic dividend, or the positive effects of a youthful population in the form of a big labor force and high productivity, but that is changing fast.

In fact in some countries, this demographic dividend is already turning into a tax," said Park.

Take the case of Japan, which has the largest number of people above the age of 65 in the world; these older people make up 25 percent of its 128 million-strong population.

This is increasing the burden on its public finances as economic growth stagnates.

"At the moment I think it is difficult if I were to hold my current job and have a child too," Ang said.

"The work-life balance is something that would be a deterrent." Ang is one of many young people across Asia whose decision to put off having children is worrying their governments.

From Taiwan to Singapore, authorities are stepping in to organize speed dating and other matchmaking events in a desperate attempt to stem falling birth rates.

Asia's young population, once the envy of the Western world is growing old — fast — with both fertility and birth rates in some countries at all-time lows threatening to strip the region of its competitive edge.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Asia's most developed economies such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea were among the top six countries with the lowest fertility rates in the world this year.

Rising education levels, late marriages and long working hours among women have contributed to the fall in fertility rates across Asia.

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