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Average Life Expectancy in Taiwan at Lowest Point Since 2014

The average life expectancy in Taiwan in 2022 fell sharply for a second consecutive year and to its lowest level since 2014, according to Ministry of the Interior (MOI) statistics released Friday.

Average life expectancy in 2022 was 79.84 years, down 1.02 years from 80.86 years in 2021 and down 1.48 years from Taiwan’s historical high life expectancy of 81.32 years in 2020, according to an MOI statement.

The 1.02-year fall in 2022 was a significant year-over-year change. The previous biggest change in life expectancy in Taiwan over the past 32 years for which MOI data is readily available came in 1997, when it went up 0.59 years.

The big jump resulted in large part because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan that officially cost 14,667 people their lives in 2022.

The MOI said total deaths in Taiwan in 2022 rose to 208,129, an increase of 23,672 from the previous year, resulting in a 9.5 percent rise in the standardized mortality ratio (SMR), a life expectancy metric that adjusts for the age structure of a population.

An SMR higher than 1 means that more deaths occurred than would have been expected based on the age distribution of Taiwan’s population, a sign of the high excess deaths, especially from COVID-19, in the population in 2022.

According to MOI figures, the average life expectancy for men and women in 2022 was estimated at 76.63 years and 83.28 years, respectively, down 1.04 years and 0.97 years from the previous year.

The men’s figure was the lowest since hitting 76.43 in 2012 and the women’s was the lowest since hitting 83.19 in 2014.

Though Taiwan’s life expectancy fell for a second straight year, the MOI said Taiwan still had a higher life expectancy than that of the world average, when compared with the latest information released by the United Nations in 2020.

According to the MOI data, Taipei had the highest average life expectancy in 2022 across Taiwan’s six major municipalities at 83.75 years, followed by New Taipei’s 81.32, Taoyuan’s 81.04, Taichung’s 80.82, Tainan’s 80.14 and Kaohsiung’s 79.67.

Meanwhile, the eastern county of Taitung had the lowest life expectancy of any of Taiwan’s 22 cities and counties at 76.46 years.

Source: Focus Taiwan