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East Asia/Southeast Asia :: Taiwan Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Taiwan
  • Background field listing
    First inhabited by Austronesian people, Taiwan became home to Han immigrants beginning in the late Ming Dynasty (17th century). In 1895, military defeat forced China's Qing Dynasty to cede Taiwan to Japan, which then governed Taiwan for 50 years. Taiwan came under Chinese Nationalist (Kuomintang, KMT) control after World War II. With the communist victory in the Chinese civil war in 1949, the Nationalist-controlled Republic of China government and 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and continued to claim to be the legitimate government for mainland China and Taiwan based on a 1947 Constitution drawn up for all of China. Until 1987, however, the Nationalist government ruled Taiwan under a civil war martial law declaration dating to 1948. Beginning in the 1970s, Nationalist authorities gradually began to incorporate the native population into the governing structure beyond the local level. The democratization process expanded rapidly in the 1980s, leading to the then illegal founding of Taiwan’s first opposition party (the Democratic Progressive Party or DPP) in 1986 and the lifting of martial law the following year. Taiwan held legislative elections in 1992, the first in over forty years, and its first direct presidential election in 1996. In the 2000 presidential elections, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power with the KMT loss to the DPP and afterwards experienced two additional democratic transfers of power in 2008 and 2016. Throughout this period, the island prospered, became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers," and after 2000 became a major investor in mainland China as cross-Strait ties matured. The dominant political issues continue to be economic reform and growth as well as management of sensitive relations between Taiwan and China.
  • Geography :: Taiwan
  • Location field listing
    Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    23 30 N, 121 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Southeast Asia
    Area field listing
    total: 35,980 sq km
    land: 32,260 sq km
    water: 3,720 sq km

    note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy islands

    country comparison to the world: 139
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    1,566.3 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); persistent and extensive cloudiness all year
    Terrain field listing
    eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 1,150 m
    lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
    highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
    Natural resources field listing
    small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, asbestos, arable land
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 22.7% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 16.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 5.8% (2011 est.)
    other: 77.3% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    3,820 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    distribution exhibits a peripheral coastal settlement pattern, with the largest populations on the north and west coasts
    Natural hazards field listing

    earthquakes; typhoons

    volcanism: Kueishantao Island (401 m), east of Taiwan, is its only historically active volcano, although it has not erupted in centuries

    Environment - current issues field listing
    air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: none of the selected agreements because of Taiwan's international status
    Geography - note field listing
    strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait
  • People and Society :: Taiwan
  • Population field listing
    23,603,049 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Taiwan (singular and plural)
    adjective: Taiwan (or Taiwanese)

    note: example - he or she is from Taiwan; they are from Taiwan

    Ethnic groups field listing
    Han Chinese (including Hoklo, who compose approximately 70% of Taiwan's population, Hakka, and other groups originating in mainland China) more than 95%, indigenous Malayo-Polynesian peoples 2.3%

    note 1: there are 16 officially recognized indigenous groups: Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Hla'alua, Kanakaravu, Kavalan, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Saisiyat, Sakizaya, Seediq, Thao, Truku, Tsou, and Yami; Amis, Paiwan, and Atayal are the largest and account for roughly 70% of the indigenous population

    note 2: although not definitive, the majority of current genetic, archeological, and linguistic data support the theory that Taiwan is the ultimate source for the spread of humans across the Pacific to Polynesia; the expansion (ca. 3000 B.C. to A.D. 1200) took place via the Philippines and eastern Indonesia and reached Fiji and Tonga by about 900 B.C.; from there voyagers spread across all of the rest of the Pacific islands over the next two millennia

    Languages field listing
    Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min Nan), Hakka dialects, approximately 16 indigenous languages
    Religions field listing
    Buddhist 35.3%, Taoist 33.2%, Christian 3.9%, folk (includes Confucian) approximately 10%, none or unspecified 18.2% (2005 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 12.42% (male 1,504,704/female 1,426,494)
    15-24 years: 11.62% (male 1,403,117/female 1,339,535)
    25-54 years: 45.51% (male 5,351,951/female 5,389,112)
    55-64 years: 14.73% (male 1,698,555/female 1,778,529)
    65 years and over: 15.72% (male 1,681,476/female 2,029,576) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 40
    youth dependency ratio: 17.8
    elderly dependency ratio: 22.2
    potential support ratio: 4.5 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 42.3 years
    male: 41.5 years
    female: 43.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.11% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Birth rate field listing
    8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    Death rate field listing
    7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Net migration rate field listing
    0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Population distribution field listing
    distribution exhibits a peripheral coastal settlement pattern, with the largest populations on the north and west coasts
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 78.9% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    4.398 million New Taipei City, 2.721 million TAIPEI (capital), 2.245 million Taoyuan, 1.538 million Kaohsiung, 1.321 million Taichung, 850,000 Tainan (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 4.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 80.6 years
    male: 77.5 years
    female: 83.9 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.14 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 226
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    Education expenditures field listing
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.5%
    male: 99.7%
    female: 97.3% (2014)
  • Government :: Taiwan
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Taiwan
    local long form: none
    local short form: Taiwan
    former: Formosa
    etymology: "Tayowan" was the name of the coastal sandbank where the Dutch erected their colonial headquarters on the island in the 17th century; the former name "Formosa" means "beautiful" in Portuguese
    Government type field listing
    semi-presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Taipei
    geographic coordinates: 25 02 N, 121 31 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the Chinese meaning is "Northern Taiwan," reflecting the city's position in the far north of the island
    Administrative divisions field listing

    includes main island of Taiwan plus smaller islands nearby and off coast of China's Fujian Province; Taiwan is divided into 13 counties (xian, singular and plural), 3 cities (shi, singular and plural), and 6 special municipalities directly under the jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan

    counties: Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Hualien, Kinmen, Lienchiang, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu, Pingtung, Taitung, Yilan, Yunlin

    cities: Chiayi, Hsinchu, Keelung

    special municipalities: Kaohsiung (city), New Taipei (city), Taichung (city), Tainan (city), Taipei (city), Taoyuan (city)

    note: Taiwan uses a variety of romanization systems; while a modified Wade-Giles system still dominates, the city of Taipei has adopted a Pinyin romanization for street and place names within its boundaries; other local authorities use different romanization systems

    National holiday field listing
    Republic Day (National Day), 10 October (1911); note - celebrates the anniversary of the Chinese Revolution, also known as Double Ten (10-10) Day
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1912, 1931; latest adopted 25 December 1946, promulgated 1 January 1947, effective 25 December 1947
    amendments: proposed by at least one fourth of the Legislative Yuan membership; passage requires approval by at least three-fourths majority vote of at least three fourths of the Legislative Yuan membership and approval in a referendum by more than half of eligible voters; revised several times, last in 2005
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Taiwan
    dual citizenship recognized: yes, except that citizens of Taiwan are not recognized as dual citizens of the People's Republic of China
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    20 years of age; universal; note - in mid-2016, the Legislative Yuan drafted a constitutional amendment to reduce the voting age to 18, but it has not passed as of December 2017
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President TSAI Ing-wen (since 20 May 2016; re-elected on 11 Jan 2020); Vice President CHEN Chien-jen (since 20 May 2016)
    head of government: Premier SU Tseng-chang (President of the Executive Yuan) (since 11 January 2019); Vice Premier SHIH Jun-ji, Vice President of the Executive Yuan (since 8 September 2017)
    cabinet: Executive Yuan - ministers appointed by president on recommendation of premier
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 January 2020 (next to be held on 11 January 2024); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
    election results: TSAI Ing-wen elected president; percent of vote - TSAI Ing-wen (DPP) 57.1%, HAN Kuo-yu (KMT) 38.6%; note - TSAI is the first woman elected president of Taiwan
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Legislative Yuan (113 seats; 73 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 34 directly elected in a single island-wide constituency by proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat aboriginal constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 11 January 2020 (next to be held on 11 January 2024)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 34.0%, Kuomintang (KMT) 33.4%, Taiwan People's Party (TPP) 11.2%; seats by party - DPP 61, KMT 38, TPP 5
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and approximately 100 judges organized into 8 civil and 12 criminal divisions, each with a division chief justice and 4 associate justices); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 13 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices appointed by the president; Constitutional Court justices appointed by the president, with approval of the Legislative Yuan; Supreme Court justices serve for life; Constitutional Court justices appointed for 8-year terms, with half the membership renewed every 4 years
    subordinate courts: high courts; district courts; hierarchy of administrative courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [CHO Jung-tai]
    Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [WU Den-yih]
    New Power Party or NPP [CHIU Hsien-chih]
    Non-Partisan Solidarity Union or NPSU [LIN Pin-kuan]
    People First Party or PFP [James SOONG Chu-yu]
    International organization participation field listing
    ADB (Taipei, China), APEC (Chinese Taipei), BCIE, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), SICA (observer), WTO (Taipei, China);
    note - separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: none; commercial and cultural relations with its citizens in the US are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), a private nonprofit corporation that performs citizen and consular services similar to those at diplomatic posts, represented by Stanley KAO (since 5 June 2016); office: 4201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016; telephone: [1] 202 895-1800
    Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (branch offices): Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver (CO), Houston, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: the US does not have an embassy in Taiwan; commercial and cultural relations with the people of Taiwan are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation that performs citizen and consular services similar to those at diplomatic posts; it is managed by Director William Brent CHRISTENSEN (since 11 August 2018); telephone [886] 7-335-5006; FAX [886] 7-338-0551
    telephone: (+886) (02) 2162-2000
    branch office(s): American Institute in Taiwan
    No. 100, Jinhu Road,
    Neihu District 11461, Taipei City
    other offices: Kaohsiung (Branch Office)
    Flag description field listing
    red field with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays; the blue and white design of the canton (symbolizing the sun of progress) dates to 1895; it was later adopted as the flag of the Kuomintang Party; blue signifies liberty, justice, and democracy, red stands for fraternity, sacrifice, and nationalism, and white represents equality, frankness, and the people's livelihood; the 12 rays of the sun are those of the months and the twelve traditional Chinese hours (each ray equals two hours)

    note: similar to the flag of Samoa

    National symbol(s) field listing
    white, 12-rayed sun on blue field; national colors: blue, white, red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Zhonghua Minguo guoge" (National Anthem of the Republic of China)
    lyrics/music: HU Han-min, TAI Chi-t'ao, and LIAO Chung-k'ai/CHENG Mao-Yun

    note: adopted 1930; also the song of the Kuomintang Party; it is informally known as "San Min Chu I" or "San Min Zhu Yi" (Three Principles of the People); because of political pressure from China, "Guo Qi Ge" (National Banner Song) is used at international events rather than the official anthem of Taiwan; the "National Banner Song" has gained popularity in Taiwan and is commonly used during flag raisings

  • Economy :: Taiwan
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy that is driven largely by industrial manufacturing, and especially exports of electronics, machinery, and petrochemicals. This heavy dependence on exports exposes the economy to fluctuations in global demand. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, low birth rate, rapidly aging population, and increasing competition from China and other Asia Pacific markets are other major long-term challenges.

    Following the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with China in June 2010, Taiwan in July 2013 signed a free trade deal with New Zealand - Taipei’s first-ever with a country with which it does not maintain diplomatic relations - and, in November of that year, inked a trade pact with Singapore. However, follow-on components of the ECFA, including a signed agreement on trade in services and negotiations on trade in goods and dispute resolution, have stalled. In early 2014, the government bowed to public demand and proposed a new law governing the oversight of cross-Strait agreements, before any additional deals with China are implemented; the legislature has yet to vote on such legislation, leaving the future of ECFA uncertain. President TSAI since taking office in May 2016 has promoted greater economic integration with South and Southeast Asia through the New Southbound Policy initiative and has also expressed interest in Taiwan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as bilateral trade deals with partners such as the US. These overtures have likely played a role in increasing Taiwan’s total exports, which rose 11% during the first half of 2017, buoyed by strong demand for semiconductors.

    Taiwan's total fertility rate of just over one child per woman is among the lowest in the world, raising the prospect of future labor shortages, falling domestic demand, and declining tax revenues. Taiwan's population is aging quickly, with the number of people over 65 expected to account for nearly 20% of the island's total population by 2025.

    The island runs a trade surplus with many economies, including China and the US, and its foreign reserves are the world's fifth largest, behind those of China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland. In 2006, China overtook the US to become Taiwan's second-largest source of imports after Japan. China is also the island's number one destination for foreign direct investment. Taiwan since 2009 has gradually loosened rules governing Chinese investment and has also secured greater market access for its investors on the mainland. In August 2012, the Taiwan Central Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cross-Strait currency settlement with its Chinese counterpart. The MOU allows for the direct settlement of Chinese renminbi (RMB) and the New Taiwan dollar across the Strait, which has helped Taiwan develop into a local RMB hub.

    Closer economic links with the mainland bring opportunities for Taiwan’s economy but also pose challenges as political differences remain unresolved and China’s economic growth is slowing. President TSAI’s administration has made little progress on the domestic economic issues that loomed large when she was elected, including concerns about stagnant wages, high housing prices, youth unemployment, job security, and financial security in retirement. TSAI has made more progress on boosting trade with South and Southeast Asia, which may help insulate Taiwan’s economy from a fall in mainland demand should China’s growth slow in 2018.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $1.189 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.156 trillion (2016 est.)
    $1.14 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 22
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $572.6 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    2.71% (2019 est.)
    2.75% (2018 est.)
    3.31% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $50,500 (2017 est.)
    $49,100 (2016 est.)
    $48,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 28
    Gross national saving field listing
    34.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    35.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    36.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 53% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 20.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 65.2% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -52.6% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.)
    industry: 36% (2017 est.)
    services: 62.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    rice, vegetables, fruit, tea, flowers; pigs, poultry; fish
    Industries field listing
    electronics, communications and information technology products, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Labor force field listing
    11.498 million (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 4.9%
    industry: 35.9%
    services: 59.2% (2016 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    3.73% (2019 est.)
    3.69% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Population below poverty line field listing
    1.5% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 6.4% (2010)
    highest 10%: 40.3% (2010)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 91.62 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 92.03 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    16% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -0.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Public debt field listing
    35.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    36.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data for central government

    country comparison to the world: 149
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    1.1% (2017 est.)
    1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Current account balance field listing
    $65.173 billion (2019 est.)
    $70.843 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Exports field listing
    $329.5 billion (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 27.9%, US 14.1%, Hong Kong 12.3%, Japan 7.1%, Singapore 5.5%, South Korea 5.1% (2019)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat display displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers
    Imports field listing
    $285.9 billion (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Imports - commodities field listing
    oil/petroleum, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemicals, textiles
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 20.1%, Japan 15.4%, US 12.3%, South Korea 6.2% (2019)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $456.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $439 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Debt - external field listing
    $181.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $172.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Exchange rates field listing
    New Taiwan dollars (TWD) per US dollar -
    30.68 (2017 est.)
    32.325 (2016 est.)
    32.325 (2015 est.)
    31.911 (2014 est.)
    30.363 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Taiwan
  • Electricity - production field listing
    246.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    237.4 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    49.52 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    79% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    4% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    6% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Crude oil - production field listing
    196 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    846,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    2.38 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    924,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    962,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    349,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    418,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Natural gas - production field listing
    237.9 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    22.45 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    22.14 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    6.229 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    348.8 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
  • Communications :: Taiwan
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 12,863,860
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 54.56 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 29,049,784
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123.21 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: good telecommunications infrastructure and competitive mobile market; Taiwan has a stable regulatory system and an educated workforce building on availability of fixed and mobile broadband networks; investors attracted to this excellent telecom infrastructure; fixed-line will decline in the next 5 years; 6 mobile network operators; 4G LTE service; regulator begins multi-spectrum auction for 5G services; govt. to release NT $20.5 billion to encourage development of 5G services (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line 55 per 100 and mobile-cellular 123 per 100 (2019)
    international: country code - 886; landing points for the EAC-C2C, APCN-2, FASTER, SJC2, TSE-1, TPE, APG, SeaMeWe-3, FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop, HKA, NCP, and PLCN submarine fiber cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    5 nationwide television networks operating roughly 22 TV stations; more than 300 satellite TV channels are available; about 60% of households utilize multi-channel cable TV; 99.9% of households subscribe to digital cable TV; national and regional radio networks with about 171 radio stations (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 21,845,944
    percent of population: 92.78% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 5,725,022
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
  • Transportation :: Taiwan
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 7 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 216
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    B (2016)
    Airports field listing
    37 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 35 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 8 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 10 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 8 (2013)
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 2 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    31 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    25 km condensate, 2,200 km gas, 13,500 km oil (2018)
    Railways field listing
    total: 1,613 km (2018)
    standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge (345 km electrified) (2018)
    narrow gauge: 1,118.1 km 1.067-m gauge (793.9 km electrified) (2018)
    150 0.762-m gauge

    note: the 0.762-gauge track belongs to three entities: the Forestry Bureau, Taiwan Cement, and TaiPower

    country comparison to the world: 81
    Roadways field listing
    total: 43,206 km (2017)
    paved: 42,793 km (includes 1,348 km of highways and 737 km of expressways) (2017)
    unpaved: 413 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 389
    by type: bulk carrier 30, container ship 47, general cargo 56, oil tanker 32, other 224 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Keelung (Chi-lung), Kaohsiung, Hualian, Taichung
    container port(s) (TEUs): Kaohsiung (10,271,018), Taichung (1,660,663), Taipei (1,561,743) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Yung An (Kaohsiung), Taichung
  • Military and Security :: Taiwan
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Taiwan Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Military Police Command, Armed Forces Reserve Command; Taiwan Coast Guard Administration (a law enforcement organization with homeland security functions during peacetime and national defense missions during wartime) (2020)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.7% of GDP (2019)
    1.7% of GDP (2018)
    1.8% of GDP (2017)
    1.8% of GDP (2016)
    1.9% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Taiwan military has approximately 170,000 active duty troops (90,000 Army; 40,000 Navy; 40,000 Air Force) (2019)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Taiwan military is armed mostly with second-hand weapons and equipment provided by the US; Taiwan also has a domestic defense industry capable of upgrading some weapons systems and building surface naval craft and submarines (2019)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    starting with those born in 1994, males 18-36 years of age may volunteer for military service or must complete 4 months of compulsory military training (or substitute civil service in some cases); men born before December 1993 are required to complete compulsory service for 1 year (military or civil); men are subject to training recalls up to four times for periods not to exceed 20 days for 8 years after discharge; women may enlist, but are restricted to noncombat roles in most cases; as part of its transition to an all-volunteer military in December 2018, the last cohort of one-year military conscripts completed their service obligations (2019)
  • Transnational Issues :: Taiwan
  • Disputes - international field listing

    involved in complex dispute with Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam over the Spratly Islands, and with China and the Philippines over Scarborough Reef; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; Paracel Islands are occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam; in 2003, China and Taiwan became more vocal in rejecting both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea where all parties engage in hydrocarbon prospecting

    Illicit drugs field listing
    regional transit point for heroin, methamphetamine, and precursor chemicals; transshipment point for drugs to Japan; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; rising problems with use of ketamine and club drugs