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Demographics of Taiwan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The population of Taiwan is approximately 23.33 million as of March 2023.[1]

Quick facts: Demographics of Taiwan, Population, Growth ra...
Demographics of Taiwan
Population pyramid of Taiwan at the end of 2021
Population23,313,550 (February 2023)
Growth rate0.04% (2022 est.)
Birth rate6.0 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate8.9 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Life expectancy81.16 years
  male78.17 years
  female84.34 years
Fertility rate0.87 children born/woman (2022 est.)
Infant mortality rate3.97 deaths/1,000 live births
Net migration rate0.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Age structure
0–14 years12.6%
15–64 years71.4%
65 and over16.0%
Sex ratio
Total0.97 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
At birth1.06 male(s)/female
Under 151.06 male(s)/female
65 and over0.73 male(s)/female
Major ethnicHan Chinese
Residents per square kilometre by village

Immigration of Han Chinese to the Penghu islands started as early as the 13th century. The main island was inhabited by a diversity of Taiwanese indigenous peoples speaking Austronesian languages until Han settlement began in the early 17th century, around the time of the Ming–Qing transition, when workers were imported from Fujian to the colony of Dutch Formosa in the southwest of Taiwan. According to governmental statistics, in the early 21st century, 95% to 97% of Taiwan's population are Han Chinese, while about 2.3% are Taiwanese of Austronesian ethnicity.[2][3] Half the population are followers of one or a mixture of 25 recognized religions.

During the 20th century, the population of Taiwan rose more than sevenfold, from about 3 million in 1905 to more than 22 million by 2001. This high growth was caused by a combination of factors, such as very high fertility rates up to the 1960s, and low mortality rates.[4] In addition, there was a surge in population as the Chinese Civil War ended and the Kuomintang (KMT) forces retreated, bringing an influx of 1.2 million soldiers and civilians to Taiwan in 19481949, representing less than 15% of the population at the time (who constitute approximately 10% of the population in 2004[5]).[6][3][7] Consequently, the population growth rate after that was very rapid, especially in the late 1940s and 1950s, with an effective annual growth rate as high as 3.68% during 19511956.

Fertility rates decreased gradually thereafter; in 1984 the rate reached the replacement level (2.1 children per woman, which is needed to replace the existing population). Fertility rates have continued to decline. In 2010, Taiwan had a population growth of less than 0.2% and a fertility rate of only 0.9, the lowest rate ever recorded in that country. The population of Taiwan peaked at 23.6 million in 2019 and has been continuously decreasing ever since.

Most Taiwanese speak Mandarin. Around 70% of the people also speak Taiwanese Hokkien and 10% speak Hakka. Japanese speakers are becoming rare as the elderly generation who lived under Japanese colonization are dying out. The Formosan languages are endangered as the indigenous peoples have become acculturated under Chinese culture.