Taiwan set to become super-aged by 2025: NDC

Photo used for illustrative purposes only / Photo taken from Pixabay

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan will become a super-aged society by 2025, meaning that one in five citizens will be aged over 65, due mainly to a falling birth rate and a fast-aging population, the National Development Council (NDC) reported on Tuesday.

In 2025, one in every citizen will be aged over 65 years, and more than half of Taiwan’s population in 2034 will be aged above 50, the NDC estimated in a biennial population projection (2020-2070) report published that day.

Based on the country’s latest census on births, deaths and migration data, the NDC estimated that Taiwan’s population will begin to register negative growth this year after peaking at 23.6 million in January, chiefly because there will be more deaths than births and less international migration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With persistent falling numbers among children aged from birth to 14 and longer life expectancies, senior citizens — those older than 65 — will account for over 20 percent of Taiwan’s total population by 2025, the NDC said.

As Taiwan is aging fast, the median age of Taiwanese people has been increasing, it noted, with the figure projected to exceed 50 in 2034, compared with 42.7 in 2020 and 40 in 2016.

At the same time, the number of freshmen enrolled at universities is estimated to drop from about 250,000 this year to fewer than 200,000 in 2027, the NDC projected, estimating that the number of university students aged between 18-21 will shrink by 310,000 during the 2020-2030 period.

It calculated, however, that the country will not experience negative growth in the labor force until 2031, thanks to a rising labor participation rate in the run-up to that year, it said.

The council noted that Taiwan’s working-age population between 15-64 peaked in 2015 and has been declining every year since then.

NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), meanwhile, said the government has been gearing up to tackle the issue from a variety of different approaches, including boosting the country’s fertility rate, strengthening the labor force structure and improving care for senior citizens.

The government is also seeking to foster talent and recruit professionals from home and abroad, as well as improving workplace environment as part of efforts to bolster Taiwan’s labor participation rate and overall production, he said.