Low birth rate to cause significant drop in student numbers: ministry

Taiwan's elementary student population will drop by an average of 20,000 per year between 2022-2037 as the country continues to grapple with declining birth rates, according to a recent Ministry of Education (MOE) report.

According to the report released last week, there will only be 867,000 students enrolled in Taiwan's elementary schools by 2037, a 40.5 percent decrease compared to 2011.

In the high school system, the number of junior high school students is forecast to decrease by 8,800 per year over the next 15 years to drop to 446,000 in 2037, it added.

Senior high schools will see student numbers down by some 10,400 per year during the same period to record only 463,000 in 2037.

The downward trend in Taiwan's student population may be less significant for higher education because there are more diverse student sources, the ministry said.

Universities may see their freshmen numbers down by 2,900 each year from 2022 and drop to 177,000 in 2037, according to the report.

Taiwan recorded a population decline for the first time in 2020, as it continued to struggle with a low birth rate and an aging population.

The country's total population stood at 23,196,178 at the end of May, down by 1.29 percent, or 302,892 people, from the same month last year, according to the latest government figures.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel