Taiwan's population will begin to decline three years earlier than previously predicted, with the population shrinking to as low as 16m by 2065, according to the latest estimate by the National Development Council (NDC).
Taiwan's population will begin to decline in 2022, three years sooner than the previous estimate, reports Taiwan News citing the NDC's latest biennial report titled "Population Projections for R.O.C. (Taiwan): 2018~2065".
Based on the median estimate, with a fertility rate of 1.09, Taiwan's population will peak at 23.61m in 2021 and start to decline in 2022. According to the median projections, by the year 2065, Taiwan's population will shrivel to 17m, while the high estimate is 18m and the low projection is 16m.
NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling said "This estimate is an early warning, but this early warning does not mean we will decline.” She said that it is a message to the government to now put forward some policies and "do something” to avoid the situation.
Taiwan this year became an "aged society" with over 14% of the population classified as elderly.
Ms Chen said that the average lifespan of Taiwanese is continuing to increase and with the improvement of Taiwan's health insurance system and public health policy, the number of healthy senior citizens is increasing. Given the improved health and longevity of the elderly population, she suggested possibly reevaluating the definition of "elderly".