Rural counties in the south of Taiwan and Penghu house the highest proportion of senior citizens in the nation, population data released by the Ministry of the Interior show.
Demographic statistics show that Chiayi, Yunlin and Penghu counties are the three “oldest” places in Taiwan respectively, retaining the top three positions they held the previous year.
Ministry data for last year show that there are 2,620,152 individuals over the age of 65 in Taiwan, representing 11.15 percent of the total population of about 23.2 million. That percentage is higher than the 10.89 percent recorded the previous year, with all regions experiencing similar proportional increases in their elderly population, the ministry said.
A rapidly aging society and a declining birthrate are the two major focuses of the central government’s policies on population planning.
“Chiayi, Yunlin and Penghu counties have reached the threshold set by the WHO for a country to be labeled as an ‘aged society’ — having 14 percent of the total population be above the age of 65,” a ministry spokesperson said. “They represent Taiwan’s first steps toward becoming an aged society.”
Ministry data showed that Chiayi had the highest concentration of senior citizens with 16.04 percent, or 85,000 individuals, of its population above the age of 65, followed by Yunlin at 15.49 percent and Penghu at 14.28 percent.
Statistics show that five other counties’ elderly populations have reached the 13 percent mark: Yilan, Miaoli, Pingtung, Taitung and Nantou, which at 13.94 percent is just slightly below the 14 percent WHO threshold.
Data indicate that Taoyuan County is the “youngest” county in the nation, with only 8.58 percent of its population being more than 65-years-old.
The number of senior citizens population in the five special municipalities grew compared with the previous year. Taipei’s population had the highest level, 13.04 percent; followed by Greater Tainan at 11.85 percent; Greater Kaohsiung at 10.87 percent; Greater Taichung at 9.06 percent and New Taipei City (新北市) at 8.97 percent.