Taiwan's population growth rate hits new low

The population increased by just 18,000 in 2018 according to the Ministry of the Interior

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Population growth in Taiwan has exhibited a downward trend for decades

Population growth in Taiwan has exhibited a downward trend for decades

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of the Interior (MoI) announced today (Jan. 19) that statistics from the household registration office have revealed Taiwan’s population increased by just 18,000 between 2017 and 2018, a new low in recent years.

The statistics reflect a growth rate of just 0.08 percent, the first time it has fallen under one thousandth of the previous year’s total population. The drop in growth is not as significant as it was between 2016 and 2017, but it is still indicative of a general downward trend that Taiwan has seen for over two decades.

According to the statistics released by the MoI, there were 11,712,913 men in Taiwan at the end of 2018, accounting for 49.65 percent of the total population, and 11,876,019 women, accounting for the other 50.35 percent. The male to female ration fell to 98.63 (men per one hundred women), likely due to the fact that women live longer, the ministry said.

Deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Home Affairs Teng Hsin-wei (鄭信偉) told CNA that the total number of births in 2018 was lower than the number of deaths, which restricted the population’s growth potential.

When looking at population changes, one must account for both “social” and “natural” aspects, Teng said. A population change’s social aspect refers to immigration and emigration, although this factor does not usually have a huge impact on the overall potential scope for change, they added.

Since Taiwan’s population still increased in 2018, it is a positive indication that the country is attracting immigrants and encouraging them to naturalize, Teng remarked.