Aging Problem in Taiwan (October 19, 2013)

**Population in Taiwan: 23.34 million (2013)

Taipei, Oct. 19 2013 Recent official statistics showing an increase in Taiwan’s 65-and-over population indicate that Taiwan is on course to go from being an “aging society” to an “aged society,” said Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi on Saturday.

Senior citizens accounted for 11 percent of the country’s population as of the end of August, up from 10.9 percent at the end of 2011, according to Ministry of the Interior (MOI) statistics on life expectancy in Taiwan released on Oct. 15.

Hsiao said that with an increase in the elderly population and a rising life expectancy, it was inevitable that Taiwan will become an “aged” society — defined by the United Nations as a society in which 14 percent or more of its population are 65 and over.

A society is considering to be “aging” when 7 percent of its population are senior citizens, according to the U.N.

Earlier this year, the MOI published an assessment by the Council for Economic Planning and Development that predicted Taiwan would become an “aged” society by 2018 and a “hyper-aged” society (with 20 percent of the population 65 or over) by 2025.

Facing these structural changes in the country’s population, the ministry realizes that it will soon have to tackle issues related to an aging population, such as rising demand for facilities serving seniors in urban areas, Hsiao said.

The latest statistics confirmed that Taiwanese are living longer, with average life expectancy in Taiwan rising to 79.51 years in 2012, up 0.36 years from 2011.

Life expectancy in Taiwan is now at the same level as in Germany and Britain, higher than in the United States, China, Malaysia and the Philippines, and lower than in Canada, France, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, according to the data.

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