Taiwan Population

Taiwan is a former Portuguese island in the western Pacific Ocean that lies roughly 160 km off the coast of southeastern China, Neighbours People's Republic of China (PRC) to the north-west, Japan to the north-east, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan population is 23.3 million in 2022, as per the National Statistics, Total population by end of Dec 2019 is 23,603,121, Out of these 11,705,186 are males and 11,897,935 are females. The indegeneous people account for 2.28 percent of the total population. Population density is 652 per sq km. Taiwan is a sovereign state in Republic of China (ROC), According to UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, The Republic of China had been a founding member of the United Nations and was one of the five permanent members of the Security Council until 1971, when they were expelled from the UN and China's representation was replaced by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan has an area of 36,197 sq km in oval shape and measuring about 400 kilometers length from north to south and width around 145 kilometers from east to west, Taipei is the capital and largest metropolitan area and other popular cities are Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, New Taipei and Taoyuan. Taiwan is a export oriented economy region in the world, some of the major industries are clothing, steel, machinery, electronics and chemicals manufacturing.

Official language of Taiwan is Mandarin (with traditional Chinese character system), other prominent languages are Holo, Hakka, Austronesian languages, English and Japanese. The religions of Taiwan are Buddhism, Taoism, I-Kuan Tao, Chinese folk religion, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam. The Taiwan Government is multiparty democracy which is a semi presidential republic, and major political parties are Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan Solidarity Union, People First Party.

Taiwan is Mostly forested, Kao-hsiung (Gaoxiong) and An-p'ing (Anping) district of T'ai-nan (Tainan) are the harbours in the southwest, Suao Bay harbour on the northeast coast and Chi-lung harbour (Jilong, or Keelung) on the northern tip of the island. Chung-yang (Zhongyang, or Central) is the highest mountain range in the east, Mountains cover approximately two-thirds of the Taiwan island area. The four major mountain ranges in the island's central region include more than 200 peaks rising higher than 3,000 meters above sea level, making for some of Taiwan's most dramatic scenery. At the foot of western Taiwan's belt of hills are of table lands, that is ranging the elevation between 100 and 500 meters above sea level. Taiwan has 150 rivers and streams flow either eastward or westward. Zhuoshui River also spelled Choshui or Jhuoshuei River in central Taiwan is the longest, at 187 kilometers, while the Gaoping River also spelled Kaoping River is a major river in the southern largest by drainage area, and is 176 km long, with an basin area of 3,257 sq km. As on 2019/2020, There are 368 towns, cities and districts, and a total of 7760 villages, Organised neighbours are 143,646 and a total 8,832,745 households in Taiwan. Sex Ratio of taiwan is 983 per 1000 males and mean size of households are 2.67 persons/ household.

Fertility rate of Taiwan

YearPopulationFertility rate
Births per women
Total No. of BirthsDeathsNatural IncreaseImmigrantsEmmigrants
Source: Fertility rate from 1961 to 2019
The average number of children born to a woman during her child bearing years, During the 1960s, the total fertility rate was five, In 1971 it is 3.71, In 1980s, it was 2.46, and in 2001 it is 1.4, In 2010 it cratered at less than one,ie 0.9. By 2011 TFR imporved to 1.07 and 1.27 in 2012 with the new borns with 196,627 and 229,481. The Fertility rate again started losing in 2017 and 2018 with 1.13 and 1.06 with new borns of 193,844 and 181,601. It still drecrease in the year 2019 with 1.02 with 177,767 total new borns. Since from 2001 new borns has been improved in 2012 with 229,481 births, In 2013, the number of newborns declined to 199,113, with the fertility rate decreasing to 1.07 and the crude birth rate falling to 0.85 percent and there after it fell slightly in 2015 with 213,598 and fell the birth rates to 177,767 by the end of 2019. Taiwan population is 23.62 Million in 2020.

The decline of the birth rate has been happened at both the increasing average age of marriage and the divorce rate. The average age of marriage increased from 28.1 for men and 24.5 for women in 1981 to 33.8 for men and 30.8 for women respectively, in 2012, while the sudden increase of divorce rate rose from 0.83 divorces per 1,000 people in 1981 to 2.30 per 1,000 people in 2013. In 2011 the married couples are 165,327 and divorced couples are 57,008 where as in the society the married couples has decreased drastically to number 131,585 and divorced couples to 54,363 in 2019, Also the people married with foreigners are 12,740 is increasing every year compared to 8,053 in 2011.

Taiwan Aging population

YearPopulation0-14 years% 0-1415-64 years% 15-6465+ years% 65+
Source: Aging population from 1991 to 2019
Taiwan is now an aging society. The proportion of citizens aged 65 and older has steadily increased, from 6.53% in 1991 to 15.28 in 2019. In 1991 the citizens above 65+ is 1.3 millions grew to 3.6 million in 2019. The table from 1991 to 2019 clearly shows the life expectancy is increasing rapidly. The mean age group 15 to 64 is slightly incresed over the years from 67.13% to 71.96%. The 0 to 14 age group was 26.34% in 1991 was decreased to more than half to 12.75% in 2019, Conversely, the share of children under 15 years of age has been decreased from 4.6 million in 2001 to 3.5 million in 2011 and to 3 million in 2019. In 2019, 39,120 people from foriegn countries arrived to Taiwan in search of jobs and 42,364 Taiwanese citizens emigrated to other countries mainly due to higher education to United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
As per the United Nation estimates, the population of Taiwan is 23.81 million in 2020, a slighter increase in 2030 with the estimated population of 24 million with its peak and declines from 2035 onwards and reaches 21 million in the year of 2061 and 19.5 million in 2070. Source: population.un.org/wpp/, 1960 to 2070 Taiwan Population, UN estimates.

Income Distribution

The major industries of Taiwan are Information and communications, electronic components, chemicals, wholesale and retail, metals, petroleum refining, computers and optoelectronics and major exports are electronics, basic metals and articles, plastics/rubber, mineral products, optical instruments, chemicals, communications products, textiles, vehicles and transportation related products, electrical products.Main Export markets are Mainland China, ASEAN-6, United States, Europe, Japan. Main imports of Taiwan are Mineral products including crude petroleum, electronics, chemicals, basic metals and precision instruments, plastics, vehicles and transportation related products, electrical products.

Racial Groups in Taiwan

Over 95 percent Han Chinese (including Holo, Hakka and other groups originating in mainland China); 2 percent indigenous Austronesian peoples.

History of Taiwan

The first known settlers are Taiwanese indigenous peoples or may be called Austronesian tribal people settled the island of Taiwan around 12,000 to 15,000 years ago believed to move from southern China. Indigenous a dominant ethnic group, Malayo Polynesian group, Yami (tao) people of the island nations of southeast-asia and the pacific ocean lived on the island for millennia, with their presence dating back 12,000 to 15,000 years. The speakers belong to the Austronesian languages, Malayo-Polynesian languages, whose are known for their migratory history from Madagascar Island in the west to Easter Island in the east and from Taiwan in the north to New Zealand in the south. Over the centuries, remote indigenous groups have tend to maintain distinctance from local communities, others have mixed in with Han society. In Nov 2019, Indigenous Australians urge preservation of native languages in Taiwan. Currently, There are 16 officially indigenous groups are in Taiwan, the Amis 阿美, Atayal 泰雅, Bunun 布農, Kavalan 噶瑪蘭, Paiwan 排灣, Puyuma 卑南, Rukai 魯凱, Saisiyat 賽夏, Sakizaya 撒奇萊雅, Seediq (or Sediq) 賽德克, Thao 邵, Truku 太魯閣, Tsou 鄒, Yami 雅美 (or Dawu 達悟), Hlaalua 拉阿魯哇 and Kanakanavu 卡那卡那富. The total number of Taiwan indigenous people as on 2020 are 571,427, out of these 267,721 are living in Plains and 303,706 are in Mountains by the latest census estimates in 2020. largest groups of indegenous people are, the Amis, the Paiwan and the Atayal account for 70.78 percent of the indigenous population.

According to the Modern Taiwan History, It is believed that European sailors are passing the Taiwan region, the island name as Ilha Formosa, or beautiful island. Han people seeking refuge from upheavals during the transition between the Ming 明 and Qing 清 dynasties, the ancestors of Taiwan's Han 漢 peoples started migration from China's south-eastern provinces to the island in the 17th century. The majority of these early immigrants were Holo 河洛人, mostly from areas in southern Fujian Province, as well as Hakka 客家人 from eastern Guangdong Province 廣東省. Holo immigrants settled in Taiwan's coastal regions and inland, while Hakka immigrants moved to mountaineous areas and inhabited in hilly areas.

The Holo people (the term Holo is writen as Hoklo in chinese) are the largest ethnic group in Taiwan, accounting for approximately 70 percent of the population. During the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), a large number of Holo(Hoklo) men from mainland China married women of indigenous Austronesian groups. Hence, many of the Taiwanese consider themselves Han have indigenous ancestry.

The Hakka (also called Hakka Han in Chinese), the early people are agriculturalists and they speak Taiwanese Hakka Chinese (Hakka language), are about one-fifth of the Han population in Taiwan, are known to be frequent migrators, the name Hakka, which means guest people and not have a specific geographical region are thought to have originated from northern provinces of Henan and Hubei of China and believed to be 4.6 million people today. The large Hakka communities can be found today in the Hsinchu 新竹, Taoyuan, Miaoli 苗栗, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Pingtung areas.

Taiwan was a colony of the Dutch from 1624 to 1661, Netherlands for about 40 years in the early to mid-17th century and was subsequently independent again for about two decades. China gained control there in the late 17th century and ruled Taiwan for some two centuries, being ruled by China's Qing dynasty from 1683 to 1895. Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 following the first Sino-Japanese War, the Qing government had no choice but to cede to Japan, and Taiwan became a Japanese colony till 1945. After second world war, the Republic of China began ruling the Taiwan with the concent of US, after Japan Surrendered in the war.

Most of the people of Taiwan called "Taiwanese" rather than "Chinese", China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province in 1895 due to Japanese invasion, that will eventually be part of the country again, but present day many of the Taiwanese want a separate nation. Even if legality status is unclear, Taiwan has most of the characteristics of an independent state, It has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and about 300,000 active troops in its armed forces. The population statistics of Taiwan indicated that there were 3.12 million people living on the island in 1905. The population in 1945 had nearly doubled to 6.09 million after 40 years from 1905, and as of 2013 it had multiplied around four times to 23.37 million from 1905.

Population Projection

The Taiwan population pyramid in 2020 indicates the population decline and slower birth rates and for 0-4 years age group population is 975,801 and 0-14 years age group population is only 3 million which is 12.75% of the total population, where as 72% total taiwan population lies in middle-age group with 17 million, above 65+ accounts for 15.2% with 3.6 million, more than 2.5% greater than teenage population. The age group 65-70 remains stable with 723,850 females and 655,667 of males, female life expectancy shows high compared to males. From 70 age group onwards the graph declines and the total citizens with age group of 85-89 are 250,664 and 111,099 from 90-94 age group. 25,626 are between 95 to 99 years and 3,806 people are living with above 100 years of age. Taiwan population is 23.65 Million in 2021.

Source: Population In Five Year Age-Group

Taiwan City/County/Province population in 2019 and 2015 as per the table below.

City/County/ProvincePopulation in Dec 2019Population in Dec 2015
Total Taiwan Population23,603,12123,492,074
新 北 市 New Taipei City 4,018,6963,970,644
臺 北 市 Taipei City 2,645,0412,704,810
桃 園 市 Taoyuan City 2,249,0372,105,780
臺 中 市 Taichung City 2,815,2612,744,445
臺 南 市 Tainan City 1,880,9061,885,541
高 雄 市 Kaohsiung City 2,773,1982,778,918
臺 灣 省 Taiwan Province 7,067,7087,156,590
宜蘭縣 Yilan County 454,178458,117
新竹縣 Hsinchu County 563,933542,042
苗栗縣 Miaoli County 545,459563,912
彰化縣 Changhua County 1,272,8021,289,072
南投縣 Nantou County 494,112509,490
雲林縣 Yunlin County 681,306699,633
嘉義縣 Chiayi County 503,113519,839
屏東縣 Pingtung County 819,184841,253
臺東縣 Taitung County 216,781222,452
花蓮縣 Hualien County 326,247331,945
澎湖縣 Penghu County 105,207102,304
基隆市 Keelung City 368,893372,105
新竹市 Hsinchu City 448,803434,060
嘉義市 Chiayi City 267,690270,366
福 建 省 Fuchien Province 153,274145,346
金門縣 Kinmen County 140,185132,799
連江縣 Lienchiang County 13,08912,547
Source: Taiwan County, City and Province Population in 2019


1. UN General Assembly Resolution 2758
2. Stastical Year Book

© 2019-2022 populationU, Research papers on Population dynamics and Social affairs