Taiwan’s population will reach zero growth in 2022, four years earlier than previously thought, the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development said Monday.
Due to a sharply falling birth rate, the country’s population will begin to fall from the following year, reports said.
The CEPD studies new projections for Taiwan’s population growth once every two years using figures from the Ministry of Interior and the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. The latest estimates for the period 2010-2060 were the subject of a CEPD meeting Monday afternoon, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported.
The previous estimates, released in August 2008, predicted zero growth in 2026, but since then the birth rate recorded an even sharper decline, the paper said.
The CEPD report took a range of elements into account, including birth and death rate, the graying of the population and migration, to reach its conclusion. The speeding up of the zero-growth phenomenon came despite the migration to Taiwan of numerous brides from Southeast Asia and the liberalization of restrictions on people moving in from China.
Officials warned that the advent of zero growth would bring serious social consequences, the evening paper said. A larger number of elderly people as a proportion of the total population would make it harder for businesses to find employees, and might force them to move overseas, seriously damaging the country’s competitiveness, officials said.
The CEPD was likely to discuss measures to encourage births and eventual changes to immigration policies.
If trends predicted by the CEPD persisted, around 2027 every two working citizens would have to support one non-working citizen, the paper said. At present, there was still no cause for alarm because the working population was still growing in number, according to officials.
Source from Taiwan News