Sun, Oct 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Half-million older people live alone: interior ministry

REVERSING PYRAMID:People older than 65 last year outnumbered those under 14 years old as the average life expectancy climbed to more than 80

Staff writer, with CNA

The nation’s elderly population keeps growing and the number of households in which older people live alone reached 527,380 in June, with the highest number in New Taipei City, Taipei and Kaohsiung, data published yesterday by the Ministry of the Interior showed.

The statistics were published to raise public awareness about the importance of elderly care ahead of the Double Ninth Festival (重陽節), which honors senior citizens, the ministry said, adding that the festival — celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month — falls on Wednesday this week.

The population of people older than 65 has surged from 2,457,648 in 2009 to 3,268,013 last year and 3,382,433 last month, the data showed.

As of last month, older people made up 14.35 percent of the total population — an absolute increase of 163,552 from the same period last year — with women outnumbering men, at 1,831,959 women older than 65 to 1,550,474 older men, the data showed.

About 66.62 percent of the elderly population lived in the six special municipalities, with the largest number of senior citizens residing in New Taipei City (528,879), followed by Taipei (452,759) and Kaohsiung (409,743), the ministry said.

The number of households of older people living alone also increased from 335,360 in 2009 to 527,380 as of June, a 57.26 percent increase over almost 10 years, the ministry said.

A total of 97,857 households in New Taipei City are made up of older people living independently, followed by 78,157 homes in Taipei and 67,046 homes in Kaohsiung, it said.

New Taipei City’s Pingsi District (平溪) has the highest ratio of households with older people living by themselves at 18.44 percent, followed by New Taipei City’s Shihding District (石碇) and Kaohsiung’s Tianliao District (田寮) both at 16.16 percent, the data showed.

Average life expectancy in Taiwan increased from 79.01 years in 2009 to 80.39 years last year, while the number of people older than 100 reached 3,391 last month, 1,390 more than in 2009, the ministry said.

The ratio between the number of people younger than 14 years old and people older than 65 increased from 65.05 in 2009 to 100.18 in February last year — meaning that there are more senior citizens than younger people — and to 110.56 last month, the ministry said, adding that the data show continued growth in the nation’s elderly population.

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