The declining birth rate in Taiwan and the resulting population loss are a major challenge to the country's economy – we may eventually see a lack of capital, labor and talent due to low fertility.

According to recently-released statistics from the Ministry of the Interior, in February 2018 the number of death rate was higher than the number of births. This is not the first time this has happened – March 2016 also saw a net population decrease.


February was most likely a statistical fluke, but Taiwan's National Development Council estimates that the population will begin to shrink in earnest between 2021 and 2025.

However, some areas of Taiwan passed this milestone ten years ago.


Miaoli, Yilan, Chiayi City, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Penghu had a similar demographic shift, but within the past few years.


Citizens of Taipei City, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Changhua, Kinmen and Matsu (formally Lianjiang County) are still having babies, however.


An unabridged version of this article can be found here.

Read next: Yes, 'Death by Overwork' Is a Real Thing in Taiwan

Editor: Morley J Weston