With more than 23.5 million citizens, the island of Taiwan is one of the most populated islands in the entire world.
Although many inhabitants are fluent in English, the official language of the land is Mandarin Chinese. Those who are born in Taiwan will often spend their lives in the country, along with those who move there.
Due to the delicious food, variety of outdoor activities, and diverse people, Taiwan is home to many exciting opportunities and an extravagant culture.
In the text below, top 10 facts about living conditions in Taiwan are presented.
Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Taiwan
- The cost of living in Taiwan is cheaper than the cost of living in the Western or densely populated countries such as Japan or China. Rent prices in Taiwan are 17.90 percent lower than those in Japan and grocery prices are 14.92 percent lower.
- The capital of Taiwan, Taipei, is most known for its convenience. Many apartment complexes are within walking distance of many grocery markets, convenience stores, coffee shops and local restaurants. Contrary to the Western ones, Taiwanese convenience stores offer other services besides selling groceries and goods such as printing and utility payment counters.
- Along with its convenience, Taiwan is the destination for a variety of outdoor activities. The activities such as hiking, biking, camping, mountain climbing, paragliding, river tracing and surfing are wildly popular among native citizens and foreign tourists. With scenic geography, varied coastlines, cliffs, waterfalls and rivers, Taiwan offers many easily accessible opportunities to enjoy nature.
- Taiwan adopted a national health care system in 1995. Often praised for its easy accessibility, short waiting times, low cost and comprehensive population coverage, the National Health Insurance (NIH) system combined many small insurance schemes that only covered 57 percent of the population before 1995, into a singular, efficient national insurance system. Every Taiwanese citizen has an NIH card that identifies the person, brief medical history and payment information.
- Although the NIH covers an estimated 99 percent of the Taiwanese population, excluding those who have moved out of the country, the outpatient and wait times are relatively high. The average outpatient department rate is 14 patients per year per person. It is also not rare for many general practitioners to consult more than 50 people in a day, therefore limiting time with each individual patient to 5 minutes or less. Short contact times could contribute to misdiagnosis and higher patient volume and medical costs with searches for a second or third opinion.
- There are many environmental hazards that are prevalent in the urban areas of Taiwan. Vehicle pollution contributes to the occasion smog that may plague large and small cities such as Taipei and worsens air conditions around the suburban and rural areas. A lot of the air pollution that plagues Taiwanese inhabitants are blown down from mainland China.
- Environmental degradation is mainly caused by Taiwan’s increase in economy and industrialization. Taiwan’s economic success was in part contributed by zero restrictions concerning healthy environmental criteria. Water pollution is caused by 25 percent domestic sewage, 54 percent industrial water waste and 21 percent domestic animal waste. Untreated sewage water has caused high cases of hepatitis and with waste freely dumped in the water, air and on land, occupational diseases and cancer has doubled in the country since 1954.
- Many rural areas that supply agricultural goods have moved from pesticides and herbicides to the conservation of biodiversity among farms and forestry. In May 2018, with the help of the Forestry Bureau and local nongovernment organizations, as many as 200 farms across Taiwan have stopped chemical farming and began engaging in environmentally friendly farming.
- Impoverishment in Taiwan is met if the household average monthly income does not meet the estimated monthly minimum of its respective province or district. According to the National Encyclopedia, poverty in Taiwan only affects about 1 percent of its inhabitants, estimated at 129,968 people. This low number is a result of the government’s support of welfare programs that offer a variety of assistance and opportunities for low-income families. In 1999, the government allocated $5.08 billion for social welfare programs to support job-placement assistance, civic organizations, academic institutions and other foundations that aid with displaced or disadvantaged citizens.
- The Taiwanese government offers many elderly services to help support those who are retired or disabled. Social welfare programs offer day care services for elders who suffer from dementia, in-care home services for those over 65 with disabilities, residential homes, health insurance premium subsidies, protection services, special caregivers for low-income families, senior citizens services information hotlines and long-term care.
According to an InterNations Expat Insider Survey, 84 percent of expatriates were satisfied with their financial situation in Taiwan compared to the global average of 64 percent.
These top 10 facts about living conditions in Taiwan highlight how the welcoming and exciting atmosphere of Taiwan not only provide a satisfactory home for the country’s natives but also an inviting hand towards tourists and expatriates.
– Aria Ma