Taipei, Taiwan's population is aging rapidly, with the Aging Index breaching the 100 mark for the first time in February, according to Ministry of the Interior (MOI) data released Thursday.
As of February, Taiwan's aging index -- the number of people aged 65 and over per 100 young people under the age of 15 -- was 100.18, a rise of 6.68 from the same period of last year. An aging index above 100 means that a country has more elderly than young people, according to the ministry.
Taiwan's population began graying in 1993, when the ratio of elderly citizens reached 7 percent of the total population for the first time and since then, the percentage of the elderly population has risen to 12.78 percent in May 2016 and 13.33 percent in February this year, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, the National Development Council predicted in 2016 that the number of people aged 65 or older will comprise 14 percent of the population by 2018 and 20 percent by 2026, making Taiwan a "hyper-aged" society.
Among the country's 22 cities and counties, 15 recorded an aging index that surpassed the 100 mark last year, compared with merely three in 2011, the ministry said.
To cope with the rapidly aging population, the Cabinet last year passed a new 10-year community-based long-term care services program that aims to make long-term care accessible to more elderly people, the ministry said.
The government is also working to improve the environment for giving birth and to provide an environment that is better for children to grow up in and receive good-quality education, in a bid to increase the birth rate, it added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel