The working age population in Taiwan shrank for the first time since the nation started conducting regular population censuses seven decades ago, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said on Tuesday.
Citing tallies from the latest population census, which was completed at the end of November last year, the DGBAS said in a statement that the working age population, referring to people aged 15 to 64, was 16.55 million, a drop of 169,000 from the previous census in 2010.
The government conducts a census every 10 years.
The latest census was the seventh the government has completed.
Taiwan’s working age population accounted for 71.5 percent of its entire permanent resident population, which excludes migrant workers, which was 23.13 million last year, the DGBAS said.
Including migrant workers, the population was 23.83 million last year, a 0.3 percent decline from a decade ago, the statement said.
Among the permanent resident population, 22.91 million were Taiwanese and about 921,000 were foreign nationals, it said.
The number of people aged 65 or older rose by 1.23 million, or 50.1 percent, from a decade ago to 3.67 million, accounting for 15.9 percent of the total permanent resident population, the data showed.
There were 2.91 million people under the age of 15 last year, accounting for 12.6 percent of the total permanent resident population, a drop of 668,000 from 10 years earlier, the data showed.
These figures provide more evidence that Taiwan is an aging society and has a falling birthrate, the DGBAS said.
Northern Taiwan had 11.34 million permanent residents and migrant workers, or 47.6 percent of the national total, an increase of 633,000, or 5.9 percent, from a decade ago, but the growth was down from 873,000 and 8.9 percent in the decade before the previous census, it said.
Central Taiwan had 5.76 million people, or 24.2 percent, up 3.5 percent from a decade ago, the DGBAS said.
However, the population in southern Taiwan fell 1.7 percent from a decade ago, with 6.16 million, or 25.8 percent of the total, the statement said.
Eastern Taiwan reported a 4.1 percent drop in population from a decade ago to 490,000, accounting for 2.1 percent of the total, the DGBAS said.
The populations in eight cities and counties — New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Hsinchu, as well as Hsinchu, Yilan and Kinmen counties — rose from 2010 to last year, the data showed.
New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Taichung reported growth of 7.6, 11.4 and 11.1 percent respectively, while the population of Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City rose 21.2 and 4.8 percent respectively due to a high-tech industry cluster, the DGBAS said.
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