2021/10/20  
Taiwanese society faces potentially bleak future due to rapidly aging society (2010/09/26)
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  • 英文 English 
    Taiwanese society faces potentially bleak future due to rapidly aging society (2010/09/26)

    A rash of recent government policies to raise Taiwan’s low birth rate has had no obvious effect. The unwillingness of people to have more children is already beginning to change the shape of Taiwanese society. Today we take a closer look at what Taiwan’s aging population means for the country.

    In 2009, new lows were set in Taiwan for the number of people getting married and births. According to statistics from the Population Reference Bureau released in its World Population Data Sheet, in 2008 Taiwan had the lowest birth rate in the world—with an average of 1.05 children born for each woman. If that situation continues, starting from 2024 Taiwan’s population will begin to decrease as deaths begin to outnumber births.

    Fan Se-jhen
    CEPD Planning Department
    The birth rate in 1986 was 1.7. There was an average of 1.7 children born per woman. It started to fall slowly in 1996 until about 2000, when it began descending really fast. In 2009, it stabilized at about 1.02. There were 300,000 new births in 1986. These 300,000 newborns became 300,000 elementary school students. But following year after year of falls, we estimate that if our birth rate remains very low, by 2061 there will only be 100,000 newborns.

    A country is considered to be “super-aged” when more than one in five members of the population is elderly. A low birth rate and aging are shaping Taiwan’s future.

    Fan Se-jhen
    CEPD Planning Department
    The trend in Taiwan’s population structure has five special traits. First, average longevity is gradually increasing. Up to 2008, women lived an average of 82.3 years while men lived 75.6. But because of the National Health Insurance system and everyone paying attention to their health, we predict that by 2051, people will live six years longer. The second trait is the baby boomers are entering old age. What we can see now is our population structure is very fat around the middle, giving us an abundance of labor. Right now, we’re benefiting from people power, but the benefit is already nearing an end. As the baby boomers slowly enter old age, the next generation will face new problems.

    Apart from retirement for the baby boomers, Taiwan will have to deal with an aging population that’s growing at an unusual pace and changing.

    Fan Se-jhen
    CEPD Planning Department
    Then we come to the third trait of our population structure. The generations that will enter old age are different from their predecessors. In the future, the elderly will have higher levels of education. Right now, 8.7 percent of those 65 and over have a technical college degree or higher. But, in 10 or 12 years, that percentage will climb. The fourth trait is that our society is aging at a much faster rate than other countries. In France, it took 115 years to go from 7 percent to 14 percent. Western countries had between 50 to 100 years to prepare, but we will only have half that much time. The fifth trait is the low birth rate.

    The reasons for the crisis are complex, but its approach is obvious.

    Liu Chin-hsu
    National Teachers’ Association
    The first issue is the main problem. In 2018, our senior high schools will begin to feel the effects of the low birth rate. In 2021, it will be colleges and universities. They’re already unable to find students. In 2021, their situation will be very serious.

    After 2018, senior high schools, technical colleges and universities will face a lack of students. Teachers will face the greatest challenge of their careers after inappropriate policies were put in place 10 years ago. Schools will have to close, teachers will be unemployed – these are facts that must be faced in the future.

    Liu Chin-hsu
    National Teachers’ Association
    In the past, each teachers’ college or teaching degree program had about 250 people. There were only about 10 schools, so there were less than 3,000 people who gained elementary school teaching qualifications each year. Later, at its peak, there were 18,000 people. This is a fantasy figure. Before teacher training was opened up it was a monopoly, which is not entirely right, but the numbers were controlled very precisely. Later, all universities that met certain conditions could establish teacher training institutes. Meanwhile, the number of universities in Taiwan reached the highest density in the world.

    The low birth rate does not only affect the education system. Many small and medium-sized hospitals do not have neonatal facilities.

    Dr. Chiu Nan-chang
    Mackay Memorial Hospital
    Ten to 20 years ago pediatrics was among the first few choices of young medical students. But as the number of pediatric patients decreased, the importance of pediatrics relative to other hospital departments went down. It’s especially apparent in an aging society, where the number of elderly people has increased. The influence on obstetrics and pediatrics is quite large.

    The reduction in the number of births is not only influencing the medical system and doctors’ choice of career. It could be the beginning of a vicious cycle.

    Dr. Chiu Nan-chang
    Mackay Memorial Hospital
    What I’m talking about is very practical – the survival of hospitals. They must consider their financial situation. But, speaking pragmatically, obstetrics can’t possibly provide economic support to hospitals in the medical system. Of course it’s necessary. For the hospitals, it’s not important but it’s something they can’t get rid of. It would be terrible from the nation’s point of view if you do not take care of obstetrics and pediatrics.

    The first to be adversely affected by Taiwan’s aging will be the education and medical systems. The issue of whether there will enough resources to support all of society is causing concern for many people. Some are even worried about the nation’s survival. In Part 2 next week, we will take a closer look at what Taiwan’s future could look like.

    中文 Chinese  
    台灣存亡危機

    最近政府接二連三的祭出了獎勵生育政策,甚至以百萬元來徵求,「讓人聽了就想生」的口號,姑且不論這些政策能不能夠奏效,至少可以看出少子化已經成了政府,迫切需要解決的問題,不過 孩子生得少,究竟會產生什麼問題呢,今天就要帶您了解台灣有什麼樣的人口危機?

    台灣在2009年,不管是結婚的人數,還是初生嬰兒的數目,都創下了歷史新低,根據美國人口資料局所公布的,最新全球人口趨勢報告,2008年,台灣的生育率,還名列全世界倒數第一,平均每一名婦女只生育1.05個孩子,這樣的情況繼續下去,從2024年開始,國內人口將要進入負成長了,也就是出生的人口,比死亡的人口還要少。

    [[經建會人力規劃處 專員 范瑟珍]]
    從民國75年開始,你看我們那個時候的出生率,總生育率還有1.7,每個女性一生,生1.7個小孩,民國85年就開始慢慢往下掉,一直到大概民國89年,民國89年是急遽往下掉的時候,現在一直都是維持,像民國98年大概在1.02左右,在民國75年的時候,還有三十萬的新生兒,你想新生兒這三十萬,到小學一年級的時候是三十萬人,可是慢慢地,一年一年往下掉,小一的人數到民國97年
    其實就會影響到我們整個教育體系,然後慢慢以後,我們在估計,如果說我們現在生育率都很低的話,慢慢地到(民國)150年後,一年可能只有十萬個新生兒

    高齡國家也就是平均五個人裡面至少有超過一個人是老人,少子化,加上高齡化,將是未來台灣社會的景況。

    [[經建會人力規劃處 專員 范瑟珍]]
    我們台灣人口結構轉變的趨勢,其實會有五個特徵,國人壽命平均會逐漸延長
    從過去的,到民國97年女性82.3歲,男性是75.6歲,可是以後因為健保,因為大家對健康的重視,其實以後,我們預估到民國140年,每個人都可以再多活六歲以上,第二個特徵就是,嬰兒潮的世代要邁入高齡了,現在我們看到是,我們人口結構是中間肥胖型,就顯示我們勞動力是非常充沛的,現在我們在享受所謂人口力,但是這個紅利已經快要結束了,那如果我們嬰兒潮慢慢地,慢慢地邁入高齡的時候,我們就必須要承受,上一代人口老化的問題

    除了嬰兒潮要邁入高齡外,更重要的是未來高齡化的速度會是倍增成長。

    [[經建會人力規劃處 專員 范瑟珍]]
    還有我們的人口結構還有第三個特徵,未來的高齡者,其實跟現在是不太一樣的,他們的教育程度都會比較高,現在六十五歲以上的高齡者,有8.7(%)是大專以上(教育程度),但是在十年,二十年後,慢慢地比例會愈來愈高,第四個特徵就是,高齡化的倍增速度會比其他國家快,像法國從7%到14%(老人比率),花了115年,歐美國家大概都有五十到一百年的時間去做準備,但是我們只有別人一半的時間,還有第五個特徵就是少子化的問題

    快速消失的台灣人,其背後的原因複雜,但危機卻已經顯而易見。

    [[全國教師會 理事長 劉欽旭]]
    第一個問題就是問題面,民國107年,我們的高中會開始面臨少子化的衝擊,有人會說的更早,民國104年,那我們是從比較全面性的,鋪展開來是民國107年,民國110年,就是大專院校,大專院校現在就已經招不到學生了,那民國110年就會更嚴重

    民國107年後,高中職以及大專院校,將開始面臨沒有學生的窘境,繼而教師也將面對,職業生涯裡最大的生存挑戰,再加上十年前的不當政策,學校關閉,教師失業,將是未來即將發生的事實。

    [[全國教師會 理事長 劉欽旭]]
    以前是一個師院或一個師專,大概就是250個人左右,大概就是十個學校,所以以前在國小(師資)的部分,一年大概不會超過三千人,後來最高峰的到一萬八(千人),所以這個數字是天方夜譚,因為他在師資培育的開放,以前是獨賣,不完全對,但是它數字控制得很精準,後來讓所有的大學,都可以在符合某些條件下,去開放師資訓練的機構,又剛好搭上,台灣大學的數量,成為世界密度最高的

    少子化 影響的不只是教育體系,許多中小型的醫院,已經沒有新生兒科的設置。

    [[馬偕醫院兒科 主任 邱南昌]]
    在過去來講的話,譬如說十年,二十年前的時候,那時候兒科醫師,往往是醫學院畢業生的前幾志願,都擺在最前頭,但是呢,隨著兒科病患的減少,兒科的重要性,在醫院整個就會相對被貶抑了,尤其現在高齡的人口,老年人口又增加,所以在這一方面來講的話,婦兒科的影響事實上是更大

    新生兒的減少,不僅影響整個醫療體系,以及醫師的就業意願,這也有可能是一個惡性循環的開始。

    [[馬偕醫院兒科 主任 邱南昌]]
    因為我講一個很現實的層面,就是說醫療院所為了生存,所以他們也要考慮到他們的經濟狀況,可是說穿了,婦兒科不太可能說,靠這個來支撐醫院的醫療經濟體系,所以這個來講的話,反而好像是一個必要,可是又對醫院來講,好像又不是那麼重要,可是又去不掉的東西,但是對於整個國家來講,如果你將來婦兒的醫療情況,做壞了的話,那大家可以想像,我們未來是很糟糕的

    未來糟糕的,不僅是台灣的教育與醫療體系,逐漸式微的台灣新生代,是否有足夠的能力,支撐起整個台灣社會,也是令人擔憂的問題,或許未來少子化還將會是危及國家存亡的關鍵。下集台灣生存危機2,將帶您一一剖析。
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