Using data to convince others is more persuasive than using rhetorical words.
When a person is dealing with a specific event or topic, the ability to quickly find relevant data clarifies the event or topic and facilitates convincing others. The Policy Research Indicators Databa
se (PRIDE), a databa se developed by the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), underwent revision and was posted online in June 2015 (https://pride.stpi.narl.org.tw/). PRIDE offers a substantial amount of indicator-related data, enabling users to “let data speak.”
Figure. 1 The number of people aged 65 and up is expressed as a ratio of the total population.
STPI uses the demographic structure of Taiwan and those of other major representative countries that are estimated and announced by the National Development Council. The figure shows that Taiwan is on the verge of becoming an aged society by 2015 and that the most rapid aging trend was observed in Taiwan and South Korea. By 2060, the senior population of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan will all reach approximately 40% of these countries' total populations.
Originally, PRIDE was built to support related policy planning and academic research. However, because the data recorded in PRIDE are strongly related to the public, STPI has examined plebeian topics and adopted concise analyses by using these data to illustrate changes that are occurring domestically and around the world to draw the public's attention to these problems. Articles written to educate the public about current changes included “Learning About Global Warming Through Related Data” (an article for understanding the current status of global warming), “Observing Changes in Taiwan's Competitiveness Over Recent Years Using IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2015” (an article written by referring to the competitiveness analysis prepared by the Institute of Development Management), and “Comparisons Between Domestic and Foreign Tourism Industries” (an article written for Taiwan's Tourism Festival).
The new version of PRIDE contains a substantial amount of newly added interactive charts. For example, “Discover the World” uses a single image to display data and indicators related to current international problems or concerns. Conversely, “The Country Profile” introduces the countries' basic information through six dimensions: Geography and Population; Society and Economics; Fiscal Policy and Government Efficiency; Medical and Education; Transportation and Information Communication; and Energy and the Environment. In addition, by using the “Global Overview” function, through which indicators are presented in various color gradients, readers can view the differences between countries for various years.
Data provided by PRIDE were derived from the statistical data released by Taiwan's government agencies as well as by international organizations and research institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Eurostat, World Economic Forum, World Bank, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and Asian Development Bank. These sources of information are compiled into a large databa
To teach users how to use PRIDE to analyze and verify specific problems, STPI used “Womenomics” as an example, demonstrating how data provided by PRIDE such as population structure, employment rate, salary, and job position can be used to generate online graphs. Conversely, these data can be downloaded to produce new graphs.
Changes in Population Structure for Countries Worldwide
Population aging exerts a number of negative effects on the overall economic development of a country, the most crucial of which is the shortage of labor. Figure 1 depicts the results released by the National Development Council (and found in PRIDE) estimating the population structure of Taiwan and other major representative countries, in which Taiwan is demonstrated to be on the verge of becoming an aged society by 2015. Conversely, the United States has already become an aged society. Sweden is nearly a super-aged society, whereas Japan and Germany have already become super-aged societies (with Japan having a senior population that exceeds 25% of its total population). Compared with the aforementioned countries, Taiwan and South Korea have demonstrated the most rapid aging trend. By 2030, most representative countries (except for the United States) will have become super-aged societies. By 2060, the senior population of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan will have reached approximately 40% of these countries' total populations.
Figure 2. The female employment rate in various major countries is displayed.
Source of information: The Ministry of Labor
Graph retrieved from PRIDE, a databa
Female Employment Rate in Various Countries
Figure 2 illustrates the female employment rate in various countries. According to the graph, in 2013, the female employment rate was highest in Sweden (approximately 63%), followed by Singapore (55%), the United States (53%), and Germany (53%). The female employment rate gradually rose in Singapore, whereas that of the United States gradually decreased. By 2010, the female employment rate of Singapore surpassed that of the United States. For Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, female employment has remained under 50% for a long duration.
Differences in Employment Rate Between Males and Females in Taiwan
Further analyzing the cause of the low female employment rate in Taiwan revealed that no significant differences were observed between the employment rates of women and men prior to marriage (Figure 3). However, after women were married and had children (on average, Taiwanese women were married by the age of 29.7 and gave birth to their first child by the age of 30.5), differences in employment rate between men and women increased with age. Between the ages of 30–34, the difference in employment rate between men and women was 13%, which increased to 28% by the ages of 55–59 (according to the Ministry of Labor, the average retirement age of men and women in Taiwan was 62.3 and 59.7, respectively).
Figure 3. The differences in employment rate between men and women in Taiwan in 2014 are displayed.
Source of information: Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (of the Executive Yuan).
Graph retrieved from PRIDE, a databa
With a senior population exceeding 25% of its total population, Japan has already become a super-aged society. In the face of an aging population, the Japanese government introduced the concept of “Womenomics”, encouraging Japanese women to join the labor force and contribute to society. Related policies are described as follows: (a) providing pregnancy and childbearing care; (b) creating an environment that enables women to excel in the workplace; (c) promoting women's professional development in local areas and helping them start their own businesses; (d) ensuring that women have a healthy and stable livelihood; (e) offering women a safe and peaceful living environment; and (f) providing various types of counseling resources that match women's needs. Through various strategies, the Japanese government hopes to achieve the goal of supporting women in joining the labor force. Because Taiwan will soon become an aged society,“Womenomics” policy adopted by Japan may provide an example for Taiwan in addressing its problem of aging.