Facts on Taiwan

Some fascinating Taiwan Facts

Facts on Taiwan, the nation’s official name is the Republic of China. The Republic of China’s area of control includes the islands of Taiwan, the Penghu island archipelago as well as the facts-on-taiwan-turtle-islandcollected islands of Matsu and Kinmen. Other islands of note include Turtle Island off the coast of Yilan (Ilan) County, Keelung islet in the waters above Keelung City, Green Island – located some 30 kilometres from the east coast county of Taitung (Taidong) and Orchid Island, home to the Tao islanders.

More facts on Taiwan. The landmass of the ROC covers a land area of just over 32,000 square kilometres, with that number including the smaller islands. As a comparison, the island of Taiwan itself is about the size of Belgium or the U.S. states of Maryland and Delaware combined.

Facts on Taiwan – Geography

facts-on-taiwan-kentingThe island of Taiwan borders the Taiwan Strait, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea. Taiwan’s coastline stretches across 1,566.3 kilometers, but if you circumnavigate the island by car or bike, the road route is roughly 1000 kilometers. The lowest point in Taiwan is at the coast facing the South China Sea while the island’s highest point is Jade Mountain (Yu Shan) at 3,952 meters. Taiwan is mostly mountains, the eastern two-thirds of the island is almost all tall and rugged mountains while the western side is home to rolling plains used for farming and some flat land areas. Most of Taiwan’s people live on the western side. Due to the island’s topography, only 24% of it is useable for farming, but farm land must compete with human living space. As a result, Taiwan ranks high on the list of the world’s most densely-populated nations.

Facts on Taiwan – People

The people of Taiwan are mainly comprised of three ethnic groups.

  • Native aboriginals who have lived on the island for thousands of years: 2%.
  • Taiwanese islanders – or Hoklo: 84%. These are the decedents of early Han Chinese settlers to Taiwan whose roots stretch back at least 300 years.
  • Recent Chinese immigrants: 14%. These mostly arrived in Taiwan upon the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party or KMT) and their subsequent retreat to Taiwan in 1949.

Facts on taiwan – Taiwan’s nearly 23 million people are still quite “youthful,” with a median age of 36 years. However, due to low replacement births, Taiwan is rapidly aging and the median age is set to jump within decades. Taiwan is a clever nation, 97% of its people are literate in the difficult language of Chinese. A substantial percentage of Taiwanese have attended a college or university over 90% of the adult population has at least graduated from senior high school. Many speak several dialects and English – in varying degrees of skill – is also widespread. The majority Hoklo ethnic group — or Taiwanese islanders — would likely speak Hoklo, or Taiwanese, at home. Hoklo is a Chinese dialect from the southern province of Fujian although the Taiwanese version has its own distinctions.

Facts on Taiwan – Health

A baby girl born in Taiwan today has a life expectancy of over 81 years, a figure that beats America and is only one year behind the European Union. (Taiwan’s men – like men everywhere – fair less well, coming in at just over 75 years.) Taiwan is relatively free of AIDS, but cancer – possibly due to pollution — is a big problem. Figures from 2005 show a cancer incidence rate of 341 in every 100,000 men and 263 in every 100,000 women.

Facts on Taiwan – Religion

facts-on-taiwan-godsTaiwan’s people are religious, but lack any strains of fundamentalism. Many are willing to accept a mixture of beliefs and find no difficulty in tolerating a wide variety of sects and belief systems. The majority (93%) claim allegiance to Buddhism or Taoism, but Taiwan’s Buddhism and Taoism is frequently infused with islander folk religions. Fewer than 5% are Christian, however due to over 100 years of missionary activity among Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, a large percentage of native aboriginals are either Catholic or Protestant.