How fast is the Taiwanese population aging? The National Development Council estimates, though it took the island 25 years to go from an aging society to an aged society, it will only take Taiwan seven years to become a hyper-aged society. This rate is much faster than other developed countries. The rapid speed has overtaken the U.K. and U.S., setting another world record. The Taiwanese society has a hyper-aged population of over twenty percent; the growing rate is 1.6 times as much as Japan, 2.8 times more than the U.S. and 7.3 times as much as the U.K.

UDN reports, in ten years, the number of people over 65 years old will increase by 1.78 million; one out of five people will be over 65 years old and the number of aged population will be twice as much as the youth population. The old-age dependency ratio will also double; on average, three people of the working population will have to support one senior citizen.

Moreover, because of the fertility decline in the last 20 years, the population base of young adults has been continuously dropping, and with the decrease of working-age population, 1.38 million of the working population will vanish in the next ten years. The structure of the Taiwanese working-age population will also be altered; in 25 years, the main work force will shift from 35 to 44 year-old middle-aged people to one out of four of them being over 55 years old.

Yet on June 24, Mao Chi-kuo, premier of the executive yuan, inspected the big data wage analysis report submitted by the Ministry of Finance. This investigation went through the databases of both labor insurance and property tax to obtain the salary of those who have labor insurance and have regularly collected remuneration from their companies for the past three years.

It’s worth noting that the big data report shows the Taiwanese salary man population as pyramidal; 52 percent of their annual salaries are lower than NT$550,000 (approximately US$ 16,938) which makes their monthly salaries just a little over NT$30,000 (approximately US$924). Considering the minimum of NT$ 10 million (approximately NT$ 308,086) metropolitan-city housing cost and how the salary man is the average taxpayer, the impoverished and hectic characteristics of the salary man population is distinct.

As for those who are called 22K workers, studies show that most people with monthly salaries of around NT$20,000 (approximately US$ 616) and annual salaries of under NT$250,000 (approximately US$ 7,702) are 30 to 35 years old; those who are under 25 years come in second, showing that the 22K salary isn’t the privilege of fresh graduates.

Chang San-cheng, vice premier of the Executive Yuan, was in charge of the big data investigation and says the research excluded government employees, those without annual salaries and profit-making practices, such as doctors, accountants, lawyers and so on. This reveals most of the salaried population.

The salary here covers monthly salaries, bonuses and cash bonuses, but not stock dividends. The big data research indicates, in the past three years, 4.84 million of the Taiwanese salaried population had an average salary raise of 3 percent; the amplitude modulation of 2014 was highest, reaching 3.82 percent, and put a stop to the 1.47 percent decrease in 2013.

Translated by Olivia Yang