2013年11月18日 星期一

Taiwan by the Numbers: People

While I was writing that "Racism in Taiwan" entry I came across a lot of interesting numbers.  I will be discussing these numbers here.  Most of these numbers have been rounded off, and should be treated accordingly.

You might find that my numbers conflict with Wikipedia, Google, or other sites.  This is because the information provided by those sights is not up-to-date.  More current information is available at the Monthly Bulletin of Interior Statistics 內政統計月報 Site in Chinese and English.

Taiwan's Total Population (as of October 2013):
23.36 million.
Taiwan's Area (Including Islands):
36,193 square kilometers.
Population Density of Taiwan (as of October 2013):
645 people per square kilometer.

In relative terms, this means that Taiwan's population is roughly the same as Australia's.  You could fit more than 200 Taiwans inside of Australia.  My home state, Washington, is more than five times larger than Taiwan.

Or, to put it another way, Taiwan is slightly smaller than Switzerland and slightly larger than Maryland, with around four times as many people as both places.  

According to Wikipedia, Taiwan ranks 16th worldwide in terms of population density, though their number for Taiwan's total population is off by about twenty thousand.  Assuming that the other countries on their list are also off by the same amount, Taiwan's higher rate of population growth may have put it higher on the list.

Percentage of Population 0-14 years old (as of October 2013):
15%
Percentage of Population 15-64 years old (as of October 2013):
74%
Percentage of Population 65 and over (as of October 2013):
11%
Average Age in Taiwan (as of October 2013):
38.7 years old
Rate of Yearly Population Growth (as of October 2013):
0.27%

These numbers should come as no surprise to teachers.  People in Taiwan are having less children, and the result is a relative increase in the 15 to 64 age group.  I have heard it said that Taiwan's population, along with many other countries, is moving from "young" to "aging."  This trend has had numerous repercussions on Taiwanese society.  As time passes, we can expect to see the 65 and older group grow to represent a much larger segment of the population.

The average age in Taiwan is my age, 38 going on 39.  I am thankful for this statistic, because it makes me feel less OLD.  I live in a rural place, where the average age is probably lower that national average.

The rate of yearly population growth is 0.27%, which is at least still growth.  Many countries in Europe are experiencing negative population growth.  The government of Taiwan is working towards arresting the trend towards lower or negative population growth, though it's too early to tell if these efforts have been successful.

Populations of Each City/County, From Largest to Smallest
(As of September 2013)*:
1. New Taipei City新北市: 3.95 million
10. Jia Yi County 嘉義縣: 801 thousand
2. Kaohsiung 高雄市: 2.78 million
11. Yunlin County 雲林縣: 709 thousand
3. Taichung City 台中市: 2.7 million
12. Miaoli County 苗栗縣: 565 thousand
4. Taipei City台北市: 2.28 million
13. Nantou County 南投縣: 518 thousand
5. Taoyuan County 桃園縣: 2 million
14. Yilan County 宜蘭縣: 459 thousand
6. Tainan City 台南市: 1.88 million
15. Keelung City 基隆市: 375 thousand
7. Changhua County 彰化縣: 1.3 million
16. Hualien County 花蓮縣: 334 thousand
8. Hsinchu County 新竹縣: 957 thousand
17. Taitung County 台東縣: 225 thousand
9. Pingtung County 屏東縣: 854 thousand
* I have omitted the outlying islands.
**I have combined Jia Yi City with Jia Yi County, and Hsinchu City with Hsinchu County, which were separate in the original document.  Separating them just seems weird to me.

No real surprises here.  It is common knowledge that New Taipei City, Kaohsiung, and Taichung are the most populous counties/cities in Taiwan.  I was a bit surprised that Changhua has more people than Hsinchu and Pingtung, but this is perhaps the effect of recent industrial growth in that area.

The county where I live, Taitung, has the smallest population of any county on the main island.  I like that.  I sometimes miss Taipei, but fresh air and less traffic are good things.

Racial/Cultural Makeup of Taiwan
Taken from the Chinese Wikipedia Article
Chinese - Taiwanese
73.3%
Chinese – Hakka
12%
Chinese - Mainlander
13%
Taiwanese Aboriginal
1.7%
Foreign Residents
No Reliable Data

The percentages listed above are VERY rough estimates.  The Chinese Wikipedia article cites the Republic of China Yearbook from 2008.  I doubt, however, that the percentages have changed much since then.

For those less familiar with Taiwan, "Taiwanese" in the chart above refers to people whose ancestors immigrated here from the Fujian region in China, and who probably grew up speaking Taiwanese/Minnanese as a first language.  "Mainlander" primarily refers to those who immigrated to Taiwan along with the Kuomintang forces after the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.  "Taiwanese Aboriginals" are an Austronesian people whose presence in Taiwan predates any of the Chinese immigrants.

Foreign Resident* Population in Taiwan
Census Taken by National Immigration Agency, 2011
Total Foreign Resident Population: 485,308
Indonesia
179,790
Vietnam
100,350
Philippines
85,459
Thailand
66,868
Malaysia
13,031
Japan
11,661
United States
9,645
South Korea
3,496
Canada
2,089
India
1,927
Others
10,992
*Please note that the above table lists foreign residents, which I am assuming means those who possess a resident visa.  Those on work or study visas are, I assume, not listed above.  

The above information was obtained from the English Wikipedia article, but the numbers are pretty close to what I found at the Department of Immigration site.  The most recent information provided by the Department of Immigration is for this year, and lists the total number of foreign residents as being over 506,000.

It is worth noting, however, that the citation on Wikipedia does not refer to the source document used.  Just the same, determining the number of resident foreigners in Taiwan is a difficult business, owing to the fact that people overstay their visas, never register as residents, etc., etc., etc.

It might be a shock for many Westerners to learn just how small the population of resident foreigners from Western countries really is.  We are vastly outnumbered by people from other countries in Asia, and we are not even represented in the top five.  Foreign laborers are the largest group of resident foreigners in Taiwan, and there are about twice as many foreign men as there are foreign women.


Foreign Nationals Entering Taiwan (Land and Sea) in September 2013
Mainland China
267,688
Hong Kong/Macau
76,771
All Other Countries
327,932

 
Foreign Nationals Leaving Taiwan (Land and Sea) in September 2013
Mainland China
219,345
Hong Kong/Macau
72,221
All Other Countries
300,201

These numbers are for tourists and other short-term visitors, and are taken from the Department of Immigration site.  Most of these tourists arrived and left through the airport in Taoyuan, but a considerable number also arrived and left through the Kaohsiung Airport, through Taipei's Song Shan Airport, and through other airports and seaports.  The number who arrived by sea is only a fraction of those who arrived by air.

Of course the total number of arrivals/departures for 2013 isn't out yet (it's only November, after all!), but I can tell you that almost 3 million foreign nationals arrived and departed from Taiwan last year.  As you can see from the chart above, the number of visitors from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau approaches the number of all other nationalities.

There are of course many other statistics I could list here, but the above statistics were the ones that really interested me.  I feel obligated to mention the fact that many of the statistics found on the Monthly Bulletin of Interior Statistics (mentioned above) sometimes disagree with those offered by the Household Registration Office, which I also consulted.  As to which office is offering the better statistics, your guess is as good as mine.

Related Entries: 

Racism in Taiwan
Double Ten Day 雙十節 (中)
Moon Festival/Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 (中)
Foreign Relations

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