Taiwan government agencies warn on aging population

Taiwan society is aging at an alarming rate and all government agencies must incorporate this demographic shift into their policymaking to ensure the island’s sustainable development, according to the Council for Economic Planning and Development of Taiwan July 22.

In its latest biennial report, the CEPD warns that Taiwan’s population is forecast to peak at 23.7 million in 2025 based on a projected growth rate of 0.19 percent in 2012 to -1.16 percent in 2060.

“Despite a slight spike in the number of marriages and new births over the past two years, Taiwan’s population is heading toward a negative growth track,” a CEPD official said.

“This demographic change will play a key role in national development and all agencies need to make the necessary preparations in terms of human resources planning, medical services policies, social welfare programs and urban development,” he added.

Under a medium-growth scenario, births will decline from 229,000 in 2012 to 115,000 in 2060 when deaths will more than double to 342,000, resulting in a population of 18.92 million and a median age of 57.4.

Over the same period, the percentage of those 65 and above will jump from 11.2 percent to 39.4 percent, while the over-80s will account for 41.4 percent of all the senior citizens, up from 25.4 percent in 2012.

At the same time, the 18-64 aged workforce is projected to drop from 74.2 percent to 50.7 percent. This will produce a dependency ratio of 97 persons in 2060, more than double the figure of 35 persons in 2012.

Although this trend appears irreversible, the official said, stimulus measures aimed at boosting the birthrate will buy the government more time in mapping out appropriate responsive measures. (JSM)

Meg Chang
Taiwan Today