The ROC Population Policy
Population is one of the basic elements of a state. Its various aspects, such as composition, quality, distribution, development and movement, all have great impact on a state's development and social welfare. Taiwan's total fertility rate per thousand childbearing age women was 7 persons in 1951 followed by a steady decrease. In 1984, this rate dropped to 2.055 persons, which was lower than the population replacement level of 2.1 persons. Due to factors like late marriage, increase in never married persons, late childbirth or infertility, this rate further decreased to 1.235 persons in 2003 which was lower than the "lowest low fertility rate" threshold of 1.3 persons. In the year 2010, the total fertility rate per thousand childbearing age women showed a further drop to 0.895 persons, making Taiwan a country with the lowest fertility rate in the entire world. Taiwan is now facing a tough condition of fewer children. With respect to an aging society, the old age population reached 1.49 million in 1993, accounting for 7% of the total population. This shows that Taiwan officially moved into an "aging society." The old age population further increased to 2.51 million in October 2011, 10.84% of the total population. The speed of aging population will become more noticeable. In terms of the immigration issue, the number of immigrants of cross-border marriages reached 450,000 in October 2011, which has multiple impacts on Taiwan's population. The issues surrounding fewer children, aging society and immigration manifest themselves as more urgent matters compared to the western countries and tough challenges to Taiwan's future development. Therefore, countermeasures should be developed and put into place as soon as possible.