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Taiwan sees its first-ever decline in working-age population

Census shows 65+ demographic surging by over 50% from 2010 to 2020

Taiwan's working age population shrank for the first time, according to the 2020 census. 

Taiwan's working age population shrank for the first time, according to the 2020 census.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid the aging of its population, Taiwan saw the number of working-age citizens decline for the first time in 2020, reports said Wednesday (Sept. 1).

Census figures showed a drop of 169,000 people between the ages of 15 and 64 to 16.54 million, or 71.5% of the total population, CNA reported. The latest data from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) were collected until last November and compared the situation to the previous census, conducted in 2010.

Looking at other age groups, people younger than 15 numbered 2.91 million, or 12.6%, a drop of 668,000 from a decade earlier. In marked contrast, the 65 and older demographic grew by 1.22 million, or 50.1%, over the past decade to reach 3.67 million, or 15.9%, of the total population.

The DGBAS concluded that the data were one more sign that Taiwan’s population structure is changing rapidly, with the proportion of elderly growing and the number of youths declining.

The census also revealed geographical population shifts, with central Taiwan growing faster than before, the north expanding more slowly, and the south and east still losing residents at a steady rate.

The area with the fastest population growth was Hsinchu County, which saw its number of residents increase by 21.2% to 633,000 from 2010 to 2020. The DGBAS ascribed the surge to the presence of the Hsinchu Science Park with its numerous high-tech employment opportunities.

The outlying island county of Kinmen was the second-fastest growing region, with a 17.4% increase. The cities of Taoyuan, Taichung, New Taipei, Hsinchu, and Tainan as well as the county of Yilan were the other regions achieving population growth, according to the 2020 census.

Updated : 2021-09-27 04:26 GMT+08:00