Definition of Youth

Taiwan’s 2007 Youth Policy Launching and Promotion Act defines youth as between 12-24 years old.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • --
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • --

  • Females under 18 require parental consent to marry, as minors “must have the consent of his statutory agent” to process a marriage. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: Civil Code (2012), ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Article 18 of the Criminal Law of Taiwan provides that children who have not attained the age of 14 will not be punished for their acts. Source:  Bills Committee on Juvenile Offenders

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Taiwan has a national youth policy, which was adopted and launched as a youth policy act in 2007.

The objective of Taiwan’s national youth policy centres around developing the potential of youth, supporting career development, encouraging an understanding of Taiwan and involvement in public affairs. The strategy seeks to mainstream youth, and some implementation principles to do this include:

  • Encouraging youth to participate in public affairs and hold forums to allow youth to participate in decision-making;
  • Establishing integrative mechanisms for youth policies, such as seeking collaboration with non-governmental affairs to develop youth;
  • Reinforcing inter-departmental collaboration and the development of youth organisations
  The Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (2011) relates to regulations on welfare and health for children and adolescents 18 years and younger.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Youth Development Administration (YDA) (previously the National Youth Commission (NYC)) is within the Ministry of Education and is the main agency responsible for youth. The overall policy of the YDA is to establish “multiple learning platforms” and encourage youth to generate “innovation and reform”. It has three main tasks: (1) Promote career counseling and enhance employability; (2) Encourage participation in volunteer services and involvement in public affairs, and; (3) Reinforce diverse learning and extend international perspectives of young people.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
Taiwan does not have a national youth council, but rather government-initiated activities that encourage participation of youth. The Youth Policy Union (part of the Youth Development Administration) organises events such as the Youth Policy Forum held in September 2013. According to an Executive Yuan website press release, the forum joins researchers and youth with government to discuss policy recommendations. When speaking about the forum in 2012, Premier Jiang Yi-huah claimed that “[o]ver 80 percent of the policy recommendations proposed [...] were adopted”.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the General Budget of Central Government (by Agency), the Ministry of Education was allocated TWD 197.7 billion (USD 6.5 billion) in 2013, however does not list what portion was specifically allocated to the Youth Development Administration. The World Bank does not calculate spending on education as a percentage of government expenditure or GDP for Taiwan for the last ten years.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: #N/A
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Youth Policy Launching and Promoting Act (2007):  
Appendix II: Analysis and Explanation of Youth Age Definition in The Youth Policy Promotion Program
  I. In accordance with:  
[In the] prior meeting of the second commission of the National Youth Affair Promotion Commission, it [was] concluded that the National Youth Commission [be] requested to propose an analysis and explanation of youth age definition brought up by commission members and departments subordinate to the Excusive Yuan. Advices on youth age definition proposed by subordinate departments are as follows:
i. The Ministry of Justice has provided recommendation on youth age definition from age zero to age twenty-four according to related regulations and experiences of handling juvenile delinquencies. Commissioner Fu-sheng Xu has also approved this recommendation according to related regulations in Japan.
ii. The Ministry of Education has provided recommendation on youth age definition from age ten to age twenty-five according to related educational regulations and rules in every school systems [...]
iv. Analysis on practical application:
Every governmental department can set up its definition [for] practical application based on different perspectives and needs. For example, the Taipei Juvenile Guidance Committee terminates their guidance service for youths [older] than age eighteen. The National Youth Commission limits loans for business [foundations] for ones from age twenty-three to age forty-five, employment service for ones with college degrees under age thirty-five, special skill reinforcement trainings for ones under age thirty-two, and activities of the China Youth Corps for ones older than age ten and under age forty.
  III. Conclusion  
No matter [how you judge], from legal or practical aspects, we can conclude that neither youth nor teens [has] a clear-cut definition. Generally, [youth] is defined as the age group around 18 to 40 or 45. [Teens] refer to [an] age group from 12 to 24 or 25. According to Survey on Youth and [Teen] Lifestyle based on the U.N. model done by Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, the R.O.C. in 1990, youth in Taiwan [was] defined as [the] age group between 15 and 24, but after 1996, the age of survey subjects [was] lowered to 12-24.
  IV. Suggestion  
According to the consideration of psychological aspects, foreign data and [research], [it is suggested] to define teens and [youth] as [the] age group between 12 and 24.