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Number of elementary school students forecast to drop steadily in Taiwan

06/23/2024 06:46 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) The elementary student population in Taiwan is expected to decline steadily over the next 15 years from the 1.235 million recorded last year, the education ministry said in a recent report.

By 2039, the number of elementary school students in the country will be around 779,000, as the number is expected to drop continuously by an average 29,000 per year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) report said.

The MOE estimated that the elementary student population will fall to 955,000 as early as 2029, due to declining birthrates.

In 2023, the total number of elementary school students in the country was 1.235 million, with first graders making up 196,000, the ministry said.

However, with an expected steady decline in first grade students over the next 15 years, the total number of students at that level is estimated to drop to 128,000 by 2039, the MOE said.

Meanwhile, at the junior high level, the student population is forecast to rise over the next two years to reach 622,000 in 2026, the report said, citing a surge in births in 2012, the Year of the Dragon on the lunar calendar.

While that was an auspicious year in Chinese culture for having babies, the trend did not continue in the following years, according to the MOE.

As a result, the junior high student population is expected to decline after 2026, falling to 404,000 by 2039, said the ministry, which reported 546,000 students at that level in 2023.

The report also forecast that the number of senior high school students in the country will drop, from 558,000 in 2023, to 549,000 in the 2026, due to low birth rates.

By 2029, however, the number will rise again, reaching 625,000, the ministry said, citing an expected increase in births in next Year of the Dragon.

After that, the junior high school student population is likely to decline again, falling to 421,000 in the by 2039, the report said.

At the tertiary level, Taiwan recorded 230,000 new college and university graduates in 2018, and that number dropped to 205,000 in 2022, the ministry said.

The number is forecast to fall below 190,000 next year and decline to 155,000 by 2031, according to the report.

In 2033, an increase is expected, with the number rise to 177,000, but by 2039, it will fall again, to 161,000, the report projected.

The number of new college and university graduates is forecast to drop by an annual average of 2,600 from 2022, it said.

(By Hsu Chih-wei and Evelyn Kao)


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