From 23,558,367 (2016) to 18,000,000 (2061)

From 23,558,367 (2016) to 18,000,000 (2061)

Taiwan’s population will dwindle from 23,558,367 at the end of 2016 to 18,000,000 in 2061.

Taiwan’s population growth in 2024 will be 0.  Estimated population is 23,740,000.

In 2061, Taiwan’s estimated population is 18,370,000, a drop of -22.0% (23,558,367 – 18,370,000 % = 22.0%) from that at the end of 2016.

In the first 9 months of 2017, 143,000 babies were born and 130,000 people died.  In 2016, 208,000 babies were born.  It is estimated that in 2061, 98,592 babies will be born, a drop of -52.6% from the 208,000 babies born in 2016.

In 2016, there were 4,010,000 Taiwanese between the ages of 6 and 21.  In 2036, it is estimated that those between 6 and 21 years old will number 3,000,000.

In 2016, there were 15,830,000 working age people between 15 and 64 years old.  In 2061, it is estimated that the working age population will be 8,610,000, a reduction of 7,220,000 or 45.60%.

In 2016, the population between 45 and 64 years old constituted 40.5% of the total population.  By 2061, they will constitute 47.5%.

In 2016, 169,000 Taiwanese died.  In 2061, it is estimated that 337,000 will die.

In 2016, seniors over 65 years old constituted 13.2% of the total population.  By 2061, they will constitute 38.9% of the total population.

In 2016, 5.6 working age people supported one senior.  By 2061, 1.3 working age persons will support 1 senior.

Another important factor in Taiwan’s population reduction is that the number of women of child bearing age will drop.  There will be less women giving birth, and the number of mothers will drop.

An example is the number of students at Taiwan’s second oldest elementary school, the Lao Sung Elementary School, founded in May of 1896.  In 1966, it had 11,110 students and 158 classes with 70-80 students per class.  In 2011, the school had 1,000 students.  In 2017, there are 452 students attending school there.





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Menstrual bleeding by two-year-old

Menstrual bleeding by two-year-old

A two-year-old girl in Taiwan was found bleeding from her lower body.  She was taken to the hospital.  Doctors said it was the baby girl’s initial menstrual bleeding,  The doctors  found a high concentration of plasticizers in her.

In 2015, Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University studied the effect of plasticizers on stimulating early puberty.  At that time, a six-year-old girl was found to have had initial menstrual bleeding.  But this case of a two-year-old having initial menstrual bleeding is a surprise.

Her mother had been feeding the little girl cold drinks from plastic cups, heating food wrapped in plastic sheets by microwaving, and letting the little girl play on baby puzzle play mats of PVC foam.


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Surprising increases of cancers in Taiwan

Surprising increases of cancers in Taiwan

Taiwan finds 2,400 new esophageal cancer sufferers each year

Over the past decade, Taiwan University Hospital’s cancer research team has been able to increase the five-year survival rate of undifferentiated stages of esophageal cancer from less than 20% to 40%, and the five-year survival rate of early Stage 0 to Stage I sufferers to 80% after treatment.

CCRT, computer controlled radiation therapy for non-small cell lung cancer has contributed to the success in the treatment of esophageal cancer.

The successful treatment includes a 43-year old male patient with T3N2MO 3B  squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed in 2012, and another 43-year old male patient who suffered from both T3N2MO 3B esophageal cancer and thyroid cancer.

Taiwan sees an increase of 1,400 cases of neuroendocrine tumor a year

Eighty percent of neuroendocrine tumors originate in the pancreas and the digestive system.  At risk are women between 40 and 60 years old.

Taiwan has developed progressive targeting of EGFR mutation or mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptors that regulate cellular growth and division in the first stage, targeting of the T790M point mutation in the EGFR gene associated with resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor kinase inhibitors in the second stage.  EGFR mutations are associated with non-small cell lung carcinomas.  They are treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors but resistance to them develops.

Cancer in young Taiwanese increased 18.4% over ten years

From 2007 to 2017, the number of cancer sufferers between the ages of 20 and 39 in Taiwan had increased 18.4%, reaching 6,000 new cases annually in 2014.  In that year, among those 20-39 years old, there were 1,069 new breast cancer patients,  814 new thyroid cancer sufferers, 557 sufferers of large intestinal cancer, 448 oral cavity cancer sufferers, and 314 nasal and throat cancer sufferers.

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Lifespan varies by location

Lifespan varies by location

In Taipei, northern Taiwan, the average lifespan is 83.36 years old.  In Taichung in central Taiwan, the lifespan is 80.11 years old, and in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, the lifespan is 78.9 years old.

Why is there such a difference in lifespan within only 395.8 km?

Depending on the route, the driving distance from Taipei to Taichung via Highway 3 and Highway 1 is 171.2 km, it is 171.4 km via Highway 1 and 182.3 km via Highway 3.  The driving distance from Taichung to Kaohsiung via Highway 1 is 199.3 km and 212.1 km via Highway 3.  The driving distance from Taipei to Kaohsiung via Highway 1 and Highway 3 is 361.9 km, and 395.8 km via Highway 3.  A trip from Taipei to Zuoying Station via the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) takes 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs.  A regular Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) train trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung Main Station takes 4.5 hrs to 6 hrs.  A bus ride from Taipei to Kaohsiung also takes about 5 hrs to 6 hrs.

Taipei is the financial hub and government seat.  Taichung is where Taiwan’s largest thermal power plant is located.  Kaohsiung is the center of Taiwan’s oil refineries and steel producers.

In 2016, 9,372 people died from lung cancer throughout Taiwan, constituting 5.4% of all deaths that year.

In central and southern Taiwan, the major causes of death are anemic heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and PM 2.5 pollution is known to contribute to a higher death rate of lung cancer sufferers.

In 2013 and 2014, Taichung City’s lung cancer occurrence rate was 33 sufferers per 100,000 people.  In 2014, 4,739 people died from cancer including 880 who died of lung cancer in the city of Taichung.  In 2015, there were 4,833 cancer deaths including 893 who died of lung cancer in the city, and in 2016, there were 4,877 cancer deaths including 900 who died of lung cancer in the city.

As one travels from Taipei in northern Taiwan to central (Taichung) and southern (Kaohsiung) Taiwan, PM 2.5 air pollution worsens.

This seems to explain why the average lifespan in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung which are only 395.8 km apart, varies so much.



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Retinal regeneration

Retinal regeneration

The Taipei Veterans General Hospital, the National Chiao Tung University, the National Yang-Ming University and the University of California San Diego have jointly developed iPS (induced Pluripotent Stem) cells, reprogrammed them to become pluripotent cells as retinal pigment epithelial cells and retinal ganglion axon cells using 3D technology to grow a 2 cm long axon with possible application in treating age related macular degeneration.

In Taiwan, age related macular degeneration affects 10% to 15% of those over 65 years old, and of them, 30% or about 100,000 suffer from irreversible retinal and photoreceptor degeneration leading to a loss of vision in the center of the visual field.

A blood sample of 10 cc is drawn from a patient with macular degeneration to produce undifferentiated embryonic-like stem cells or iPS cells.  They are then reprogrammed to differentiate into retinal pigment epithelial cells and retinal ganglion axon cells.

For information about the National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), go to:

For information about the National Yang-Ming University (NYMU), go to:


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Should doctors be held criminally responsible for malpractice?

Should doctors be held criminally responsible for malpractice?

This is a question that concerns a proposal by Taiwan’s new Minister of Health and Welfare to revise the current medical malpractice law stipulating that doctors are held criminally responsible for medical malpractice.

The minister believes that “only doctors who intentionally cause death or injury to patients should be held criminally responsible”, and that “doctors who unintentionally cause death or injury to patients” should not be held criminally responsible.

A Yahoo Taiwan survey of 5,800 responses conducted on November 7-10, 2017, shows that 55.7% think that “doctors who unintentionally cause death or injury to patients should not be held criminally responsible”, 40.9% think “they should still should be held criminally responsible”, 3.4% say “do not know”.

If doctors are not held criminally responsible for malpractice, a “non-litigation mechanism should be established to resolve medical conflicts between doctors and patients”.  The survey asked:  “Do you think this would be suitable in Taiwan’s present society?”  61.5% say “suitable”, 30.1% say “not suitable” and 8.4% say “do not know”.  The survey involved 69.6% men and 30.4% women, 57% of them live in northern Taiwan where medical service is easily available, and the sampling consisted of 10.5% who are 31-35 years old, 15.6% who are 36-40 years old, 18.4% who are 41-45 years old, 14.7% who are 46-50 years old, 13.4% who are 51-55 years old, and 15.9% who are over 55 years old.



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Work enthusiasm and fear of asking for a leave

Work enthusiasm and fear of asking for a leave

Taiwan’s yes123 surveyed 1,332 currently on the job workers and 882 businesses from October 26 to November 6, 2017, about workers’ enthusiasm and their fear of asking for a leave.  The survey shows that in general, 45.9% of workers are “unenthusiastic” about their current job, and among them, 83.8% had thought of quitting.

The survey shows that of the 8,906,000 employees in Taiwan, 85.78% or 7640,000 of them had at least once lost enthusiasm about their job.

The survey shows that 50.7% feel their efforts are not proportionate with their salary, 47.2% feel they lost enthusiasm after working at the same job for a long time, 44.2% feel they lost enthusiasm because the promotion system is unfair, 33.2% feel their work pressure is too great, 30.3% feel the content of their work does not match their personal interest and there is no freedom to develop one’s talent.

Interestingly, the survey reveals the seasonal and the hourly changes in the “mood of enthusiasm” of the workers:  73.2% of workers “lose their enthusiasm for work” in the third quarter of the year, 69.3% in the fourth quarter, 47.2% in the first quarter and 45.7% in the second quarter; 53.5% in the last ten days of the month, 48.8% in the middle ten days of the month, and 29.4% in the first ten days of the month; 40.9% have “less enthusiasm” on Monday mornings, 31.5% have “less enthusiasm” on Friday afternoons, 26% have “less enthusiasm” on Tuesday mornings, 24.4% have “less enthusiasm” on Wednesday mornings, 18.9% have “less enthusiasm” on Friday mornings, and 17.3% have “less enthusiasm” on Monday afternoons.

When asked what will increase their “work enthusiasm”, some say if they could have a holiday of 26.4 days in a year, and others say a salary increase of NT$5,279 would increase their “work enthusiasm”.  Calculating at a regular salary of NT$39,793 a month, this constitutes a 13.3% salary increase.  There are 65.8% of businesses that are willing to consider salary increases and 51% that are willing to allow more holidays for workers to increase their “work enthusiasm”.

The survey also shows that Taiwanese workers have a fear of asking for a leave from work:  52.6% say their bosses and supervisors have made it difficult for workers to ask for a leave from work, 39.3% of their bosses and supervisors have made it difficult for workers to take annual holiday leaves, 68.38% worry that asking for a leave will affect their performance record.  It is estimated that of the 8,906,000 workers, 6,090,000 have a fear of asking for a leave from work (6,090,000 / 8,906,000 % = 68.38 %)





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