The Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior estimated that the population of Taiwan in 2012 was 23,268,087. A census is carried out every ten years. The last census was held in 2010, and an official population of 23,162,000 was recorded. The People's Republic of China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and as you can see from our article about the population of China, data on Taiwan's population is included in official Government figures there too.
The vast majority (98%) of people living on Taiwan are Han Chinese, including around 12% of the population who are classified as Waishengren; a people who fled from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War (and their descendants). The remaining two percent are Taiwanese Aborigines, descendants of the Austronesian peoples who dominated Taiwan until the 17th century. Visit Wikipedia to read more about Taiwan's indigenous people.
Mandarin is spoken by almost all Taiwanese, and is the country's official language. Japanese is also spoken by many older Taiwanese people, a legacy of Japanese rule in the first half of the 20th century. A number of aboriginal languages are also spoken, and despite efforts to preserve them, their use is decreasing.
The median age in Taiwan is 40.7 years of age. This means that half of the population is aged over 40 years and will soon be unable to participate in the workforce. This will place a strain on economic features and on the younger generations that are in place as of now. In addition, Taiwan is quickly on the way to attaining a 'super-aged society' stage.
Taiwan Religion, Economy and Politics
Religious freedom is constitutionally guaranteed in Taiwan and the country is host to a diverse range of religions – 26 in total are officially recognized, but people are free to follow other religions if they choose. Government statistics show that Buddhism is the most popular religion, practiced by around 35.1% of Taiwanese, followed closely by Taoism (33.0%). Christianity and Yiguandao are the third and fourth most popular religions, followed by 3.9% and 3.5% respectively. Approximately 18.7% of Taiwanese are non-religious.
Taiwan's economy is growing rapidly. An estimate of its nominal GDP per capita for 2016 is $21,571. Its total PPP is over 1 trillion, putting its economy in 21st place when compared to other countries in the world.
Taiwan Population History
During the 1500s and 1600s, Taiwan changed hands several times between the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and the Chinese. The Japanese invaded Taiwan in the late 1800s, and thousands of Taiwanese were killed trying to fight them off. Taiwan was returned to China from Japan at the end of the Second World War, causing several battles and thousands of deaths which lasted well into the latter 1900s, and caused the rate of growth to significantly slow.
In 1999, an earthquake in Jiji killed 2.415 and injured 11,000.