Demographic Structure and Composition
One year after the Taiwan Retrocession in 1945, a national census was conducted (1946). The population at that time was 271,754. In 1968, the 6 districts of Neihu, Nangang, Muzha, Jingmei, Shilin and Beitou were rezoned and annexed into Taipei City, and the population at the end of that year totaled 1,604,543. By the end of 2015, the population reached 2,704,810 (males 1,295,462; females 1,409,348). Compared with 2014, the total population increased by 2,495 (males down by 174; females up by 2,669).
1. Demographic Distribution
Taipei’s population spreads across the city's 12 districts. Due to terrain differences, varying socioeconomic development progresses and different development periods, the population is unevenly distributed. Daan, Shilin and Neihu districts are the most populated.
(1) Population Density
By the end of 2015, the population density in Taipei City was 9,951 people per square kilometer. By district, Daan was the most densely populated with 27,555 people per square kilometer, whereas Beitou was the most sparsely populated district, with 4,538 people per square kilometer.
(2) Births and Deaths
The crude birth rate in 2015 was 10.72‰, indicating a 0.05‰ drop from the previous year. The crude death rate was 6.33‰, suggesting a 0.05‰ decrease from 2014. Shifts in the socioeconomic climate and financial concerns have affected people’s willingness to give birth and raise children, causing the birthrate to drop. Nevertheless, the “Have a Care- Free Pregnancy” campaign by the Taipei City Government launched in 2011 has helped the city's birthrate to climb back up. The population of elderly citizens in Taipei City has risen consistently in the past decade. Governments are now hard-at-work to prevent population decline, and the rapid aging of population from stunting the nation's economic development, while encouraging a reasonable population growth. These social issues demand immediate attention and effective solutions.
Figure 1 Birth and Death Rates of Taipei City's Demographics in the Last Decade
2. Demographic Composition
Demographic composition reveals a wealth of information, including the makeup of the population, the nature and causes of specific social issues, and the connection between the communities and their socioeconomic development. Population composition is a vital indicator of socioeconomic shifts; it is also crucial frame of reference for the government to base their present and future social welfare policies on.
(1) Age Distribution
Generally speaking, the greater the number of laborers, the lower the dependency ratio. A nation's economic growth benefits tremendously from a large productive population. By the end of 2015, the younger population (between the ages of 0-14) was 377,428, the working adult population (between the ages of 15-64) was 1,928,200, while the elderly population (above 65 of age) was 399,182. The dependency ratio was 40.28%, up by 0.91% from 2014.
(2) Marital Status
In 2015, the number of couples who registered for marriage was 16,771, the crude marriage rate was 6.20‰; the number of couples filing for divorce was 5,019, the crude divorce rate was 1.86‰. Compared with the year before, the crude marriage rate was down by 0.9‰; the crude divorce rate also dropped by 0.19‰.
(3) Distribution of Aborigines
Taiwan’s aborigines consist of the Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Rukai, Puyuma, Tsou, Saisiat, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Taroko, Sakizaya, Seediq, Saaroa, and Kanakanavu tribes. By the end of 2015, the aboriginal population of Taipei City was 15,883. The largest aboriginal population was the Amis, while the Saaroa, and Kanakanavu tribes had the fewest number of people. Most of the aborigines live in Neihu, Wenshan, and Nangang Districts.
(4) New Immigrants and Foreigner Populations
"New immigrants" are defined as foreign and Chinese spouses (including those from Hong Kong and Macao) who marry Taiwanese citizens. As political, economic, trade, social, and cultural exchange between Taiwan and the rest of the world grows more frequent, the people of Taiwan are also embracing a broader worldview. As a result, intermarriages between Taiwanese and foreign/mainland Chinese spouses increase in number. By the end of December, 2015, the number of new immigrants living in Taipei City was 33,457; among which, Chinese spouses (including those from Hong Kong and Macao) accounted for the great majority, at 29,959; spouses from other nations stood at 3,498 in number. In addition, the top 3 districts with the greatest number of new immigrants are: Wanhua, at 4,374; Wenshan, at 3,465; and Daan, at 3,396 (source: Department of Household Registration under the Ministry of Interior.
The statistical data was based on the number of new immigrants whose spouses' household registration is set up in Taipei City) To help immigrants adapt to a new culture, and encourage the locals to support multicultural activities, the Taipei City Government has launched "the Assistance for the New Immigrants" services and a series of new immigrant courses, ranging from life adaptation and enr ichment workshops, language (Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Thai) learning camps that focused on the mother tongues of the new immigrants, computer courses and performance workshops.
Furthermore, the courses were originally designed to put language and life adaptation first; nevertheless, to address the shift in new immigrants' life adaptation needs, the Department of Civil Affairs, Taipei City Government began unveiling new courses that combined a local cultural flair and industrial development focuses in 2013. Here are some of the examples: patchwork classes in Wanhua, handicraft classes in Datong, family and parenting classes in Neihu, and lion's dance lessons in Beitou. These courses help new immigrants become more familiarized with community culture, while enhancing their professional capabilities.
Additionally, to encourage new immigrant families interact with citizens more, the Department of Civil Affairs, Taipei City Government organizes large cultural events every year in hopes of fashioning Taipei City into a community that respects, honors and appreciates multicultural beauty. For example, on October 10, 2015, the Department of Civil Affairs hosted "2015 Taipei City Multicultural Activities" by the Civic Plaza that incorporated the Double 10th Day flag-raising ceremony. The event allowed new immigrants to interact with local citizens. About 2,000 new immigrants joined citizens and enjoyed a great holiday together.