People and Culture


Japan had sought to claim sovereignty over Taiwan since 1592, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi undertook a policy of overseas expansion and extending Japanese influence southward, to the west, was invaded and an attempt to invade Taiwan and subsequent invasion attempts were to be unsuccessful due mainly to disease and attacks by aborigines on the island. It took until the defeat of the Chinese navy for Japan to finally realize possession of Taiwan and the shifting of Asian dominance from China to Japan.

Communist victory in Chinese Civil War leads to evacuation of Kuomintang government to Taiwan, along with about two million refugees. Mainlanders dominate island until the end of martial law in 1987.

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Current Facts

Population 23,359,928

Ethnic groups: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, indigenous 2%

Religions: mixture of Buddhist and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%

Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: NA
female: NA (2003)

Health Statistics:

Birth rate8.55 births/1,000 population

Death rate6.97 deaths/1,000 population

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.84 years

male: 76.72 years
female: 83.2 years

Daily Life and Cuisine


The class system includes the unemployed poor, beggars, and the underworld; the upper and lower bourgeoisie; and the working and middle classes. The upper bourgeoisie constitutes 5 percent of the population and include high-ranking government officials, officials who run large state-owned companies, and the owners of companies that employ more than two hundred people. The petty bourgeoisie makes up half the population and includes farmers, small businesspeople, and artisans


The ideal family type is the grand or joint family, a family that includes a father, a mother, single children, and married brothers and their families living together under one roof. However, for this type of family to succeed, it must be wealthy and have a strong patriarch, business interests, compliant daughters-in-law, and lineage support. The most common family unit is the stem family, consisting of the parents and a married son, a daughter-in-law, and their children.


They like to wear cute/strange clothing with random english words on it. Taiwanese clothing also includes mix matching different patterns.


Senior high school runs three years from Grades 10 through 12 and constitutes the first part of what the ministry describes as the ‘mainstream national education system.’ Students attend either a senior high school or a senior vocational school. Senior vocational schools offer courses in areas such as agriculture, industry, business, maritime studies, marine products, medicine, nursing, home economics, drama and art. Students are required to attend a military education class covering issues such as civil defence, military drills, national defence, and basic firearms training. The main academic focus is to score highly on national university entrance exams at the end of the third year.


Mandarin Hostel offers small, fully equipped apartments for short-term stays around the city of Taipei. One of the best places to find housing is where foreigners congregate. For most singles, the incredible low quality of the housing won't be an issue. Not until one is married with kids does one really begin to notice how bad the housing situation in Taiwan truly is.


The public transit system in Taiwan is excellent. Most Taiwanese people utilize a combination of buses and trains when getting around in the cities.Taxis are ubiquitous in Taiwan and ready to take you where you need to go. There are multiple trains that run from the top to the bottom of Taiwan.