Taiwan: country profile

Int Demogr. 1984 Mar;3(3):4-8.


PIP: This discussion of Taiwan focuses on population growth, regions and cities, ethnicity and religion, households and families, housing, education, labor force, income, communication, and sources of information. Taiwan, founded in 1949, took a census in 1980. Its household registration system is efficient and provides population data on a yearly basis. In 1981 the population totaled 18.1 million, an increase of about 20% from the 1971 total of 15 million. Taiwan's population grew 1.9% in 1981, a decline from the 2.2% growth rate of 1971. The birthrate is 23 births/1000 population and the death rate is 5/1000. Taiwan's birthrate is similar to that of China's and both are higher than those of Japan or Hong Kong. Almost 1/3 of Taiwan's population is under 15. Only 4% of the population is aged 65 or over. The entire country is divided into 48 commuting rings associated with specific central cities. The capital city of Taipei and Kaohsiung are special municipalities, and certain offshore islands of Fukien Province are included in population totals. The country is further divided into 5 administrative districts for the household registration system. The Han Chinese constitute 98% of Taiwan's population. Approximately 250,000 aborigines (less than 2% of the population) live in the mountainous central and eastern parts of the island. They are believed to be of Malayan stock. Taiwan's predominant religion is a mixture of Buddhism and Taoism, introduced centuries ago by the original settlers. The family household is composed mainly of family members, including lodgers and hired workers living in the same place under the same household head. Between 1971 and 1980, the number of households in Taiwan increased from 2.6 million to 3.7 million. In 1980, 99% of all households were family households. Average was 4.8 persons for family households and 26.5 persons for nonfamily households. There were 3.7 million housing units in Taiwan in 1980. Taiwan's literacy rate was 86% in 1980, up from 78% in 1970. Men's literacy rates are higher than women's. In June 1982, 6.9 million persons were in Taiwan's labor force, or 58% of all persons aged 15 and over. The largest category of workers in Taiwan are salaried employees and wage earners (47% of all workers in 1980). Taiwan's per capita grossnational product in 1981 was US$2360. Wages are highest in petroleum and coal manufacturing. Taiwan produces a large number of books, newspapers, and magazines for a country of its size. There is no shortage of demographic information in Taiwan.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution*
  • Age Factors*
  • Asia
  • Asia, Eastern
  • Birth Rate
  • China
  • Communication*
  • Culture
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Economics
  • Education*
  • Employment*
  • Ethnicity*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Geography
  • Health Planning
  • Health Workforce
  • Housing*
  • Income*
  • Information Services*
  • Mortality
  • Organization and Administration
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics*
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Population Growth*
  • Religion*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Taiwan