Taiwan's elderly population reaches one in 10: interior ministry
Central News Agency
2010-01-23 07:32 PM
Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) The Taiwan population is aging quickly, with the number of people over 65 averaging one in every 10 as of the end of 2009, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

The statistics showed that the over-65 population had reached 2.45 million as of the end of 2009, accounting for 10.63 percent of country's 23.12 million people.

The aging index has reached a new high, rising from 39.4 percent in 1999 to 65.05 percent in 2009. The index is an indicator evaluating a nation or an area for its degree of aging. It is the percentage of population over 65 to the population less than 14.

Chiayi County had the highest aging index of 105.6 percent in Taiwan, followed by Penghu County with 102.32 percent, and Yunlin County with 94.3 percent.

At the bottom were Taoyuan County with 43.12 percent, Taichung City with 44.2 percent and Hsinchu City with 47.62 percent.

Internationally, Taiwan's aging index was on par with the United States' 65 percent, but was lower than Canada's 82.35 percent, the U.K.'s 88.89 percent, France's 94.44 percent, Germany's 142.86 percent and Japan's 176.92 percent.

The Taiwan figure was higher than in the neighboring Asian countries of South Korea with 58.82 percent, Singapore with 50 percent, China with 42.11 percent, Malaysia with 12.5 percent, and the Philippines with 11.43 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of household registrations stood at 23.12 million as of the end of 2009, up slightly from the previous year.

The MOI attributed the increase mainly to the naturalization of a large number of Chinese spouses who obtained citizenship after eight years in Taiwan. The government also shortened the waiting for Chinese spouses to obtain national IDs from eight years to six years in August 2009.

Taiwan's population is densest in the north of the country, with Taipei County accounting for 16.75 percent, followed by Taipei City with 11.28 percent, and Taoyuan County with 8.56 percent.

In terms of population increase in various localities, Hsinchu city and county and Taipei and Taoyuan counties -- all in the north of the country -- registered increases of over 1 percent.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Lilian Wu)

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