The problem with Taiwan’s population aging is not a domestic one. Although domestic factors like lowered fertility and birth rate is a major factor that contributes to the worsening of population aging. Taiwan’s relationship with other Asian countries also affects the rate of population aging that worsens the current situation. As population aging continues, the pressure on the young working force is heightened as the elder to workforce ratio increases sharply. Having a high elder to young ratio means that the burden to take care of the elderly is higher. Another problem that comes with the aging population is its economic impact. Having an old population means that there are fewer young people spending money, which is detrimental to the economy especially during times of pandemics. Other problems that go along with the aging population are workforce shortage, reduced consumption, reduced tax revenue, health insurance, and etc.… To combat the situation, the Taiwanese government encouraged the usage of migrant workers to both support the older population and to fill up the workforce with young working people.
Much of today’s elder population is supported by migrant workers, specifically Southeastern Asian migrant workers. “Out of 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan, more than 250,000 from South East Asia are employed to work in the caregiving sector in 2020” (The News Lens). This is a direct result of the shift in the traditional mindset. Chinese traditions dictate that women should take care of the household and any elders in the family. However, as more women in Taiwan achieve higher levels of education (as a result of the nation’s development) the duty was passed onto migrant workers.
Even though the employment of migrant workers sounds like the perfect solution to Taiwan’s aging population, it also has its limits. Migrant workers are also seeing a decreasing trend with thousands of migrant workers leaving Taiwan for the past few months. The most imminent reason was the pandemic. Workers from southeastern countries could not export their workers to Taiwan which caused a shortage of household migrant workers. However, another reason that has been brewing for the past decade is the rise of Southeastern Countries. Taiwan dominated the economy in Eastern Asia due to the economic miracle in the late 50s, which was when most Southeastern countries like Indonesia and the Philippines were still in the stage of development. Yet, as time passed, these countries no longer rely on the money sent back by migrant workers to sustain their economy.
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