Thu, Sep 30, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Aging population raises concerns for families

CNA , TAIPEI

One of the changes brought by a graying society is that the number of families depending on people over 65 for their income has increased significantly, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said yesterday.

Council officials said that among the nearly 1 million households that depend on the elderly for their income, over 40 percent fall into the lowest bracket in a five-tier household income model, with a disposable income lower than NT$500,000 (US$14,705) annually, compared with the average household income of NT$880,000.

The officials said the council had long been concerned about the aging of the population. The latest research shows that the number of people over 65 could double in 20 years. The number of over-65s accounted for 9.4 percent of the total population last year, but that proportion will increase to 18.8 percent by 2024, officials said.

In view of a survey by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showing that the income of families with elderly breadwinners had mostly fallen into the low-income bracket, officials said they had been keeping a close watch on the situation.

To mitigate the impact on the economy, officials said the government would continue to assist those who are underprivileged and provide subsidies.

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