Fri, Oct 03, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Nation needs to plan for aging population: council

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Population growth across the nation could reach zero as fast as 2019 and the nation could become an elderly society by 2018 as the population rapidly ages, according to the National Development Council’s (NDC) newest estimate given to the Executive Yuan yesterday.

The working-age population — those aged from 15 to 64 — constitutes 74 percent of the total population, with 12 percent of the population consisting of people aged 65 and older, the council said.

By 2061, the working-age population would decrease to 51 percent of the total population, while the elderly population would increase to 38 percent, the council said.

The number of households with dependents currently stands at 35 percent, with 18.8 percent of families across the nation having children and 16.2 percent of families caring for elderly people, the council said.

Dependency ratio estimates for 2061 would increase to 96.1 percent nationwide, with 21.2 percent caring for children and 74.8 percent caring for the elderly, the council added.

While the aging population has been increasing since 1993, the council said, the nation would officially become a high-aged society in 2018, and become an extremely high-aged society by 2025.

The working-age population would peak next year at 17.3 million and slump afterward to an estimated 8.2 million to 9.8 million by 2061, the estimates showed.

The nation would see zero growth in population by 2019 at the earliest or 2026 at the latest, the council said, adding that by 2061, the population would be only 70 to 80 percent of the current number, or 16.6 million to 19.3 million.

Measures encouraging people to have children should be a priority policy, while aged-care facilities should be considered an important area for development, the council said.

Council Deputy Minister Kao Shien-quey (高仙桂) said the council hoped to raise the labor participation rate from 58 percent to 60 percent.

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