Taiwan’s population expected to experience negative growth this year

  • By Huang Hsin-po and William Hetherington / Journalist, with editor

Taiwan’s population is on track to experience negative growth for the first time this year, with the government dropping 16,559 people in the first five months, according to Interior Ministry statistics.

From January to last month, the number of births was 9,149 fewer than the number of deaths, and 7,410 more people emigrated than immigrated, reaching a total of 16,559, according to statistics.

Last year saw the second lowest number of births – 175,074 – since the country began keeping records. In 2010, there were 166,886 births.

From January to last month, there were 65,513 births, 7,562 fewer than the same period last year. If the trend continues, the birth rate for the year would be lower than 2010, making it the first year of negative population growth, a ministry official said.

Negative growth was almost reported last year, but the situation reversed in the second half of the year, the official said.

The possibility of negative growth is even greater this year than last year, but as couples spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation could still change, the official added. .

Separately, a Yuan executive official said that if there is negative population growth, the government should tackle the problem of shrinking workforce, which may ultimately affect Taiwan’s economic competitiveness. .

A population decline would also negatively affect the national health insurance system, post-secondary education institutions and the housing market, the official said.

The National Development Council said it expects one in two people to be over 50 by 2033, 30% of the population will be over 65 by 2039 and the country’s population would fall to 20 million by 2050.

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Janice J. Kostka