TAIPEI (TVBS News) — At home in New Taipei City, Ms. Shih took advantage of the time when her two kids were at preschool and kindergarten to tidy their rooms. Shih stands out among mothers in Taiwan as the birth rate continues to drop. The mother of two is expecting another child later this year.
Tallies show that the number of new births in 2021 totaled 157,019 newborns. In the first half of this year, the number landed at 67,000. Based on the current tally, experts predict that the total number of newborns this year will fall below 14,000, a decrease of 15,000 from last year.
The Shih family also considered another factor when they decided to have three kids: their children would carry less burden individually when their parents got older. As the birth rate drops and the aging population continues to grow in Taiwan, National Taiwan University Professor Liu Yu-hsiu points out the importance of elders aging well and maintaining their mobility to the very end.
"My mother always said: 'Oh, at our age, we all say that we want a good death; you have to be healthy to have a good death.'"
"If you're intubated, and so on, it will never end," she added. Liu emphasized that aging isn't something to be feared, and we should all work towards aging well and with dignity. Up to August this year, Taiwan's old-age dependency ratio increased to 23.37%, marking a new high. Meanwhile, the young-age dependency ratio continued to drop to 17.53%.
Compared with 2011, Taiwan's ultimate dependency ratio has increased 5.83% in the past ten years.
The National Development Council predicts that in 2028, the working-age population between 15 and 64 will be less than two-thirds of the nation's population. This means that labor shortage will be a significant problem in the future. As Taiwan approaches a super-aged society, the dropping number of the working population needs to be resolved soon.