TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei has experienced the sharpest decline in its population since 1993, according to recent statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
The MOI figures show the country's capital lost a total of 42,623 residents over the last 12 months, a 1.6 percent drop from 2019. Its overall population stood at about 2.6 million at the end of December, which is also the lowest on record in 23 years.
During the same 12-month period, Taipei's neighboring satellite cities witnessed a significant increase in their populations, with Taoyuan and New Taipei each adding 19,770 and 12,000 residents, respectively. Meanwhile, southern municipalities Tainan and Kaohsiung saw a slight drop in their populations.
Charlene Chang (張旭嵐), section chief of Taiwan Realty Enterprise, explained that the decrease in Taipei's population could be attributed to the city's soaring real estate prices. She said people in Taipei are being forced to move to other cities to reduce living costs.
Workers who migrated from southern Taiwan to seek employment in Taipei have also moved out due to expensive housing, according to Chang. With the operation of the Taiwan High Speed Rail and the Taoyuan Airport MRT, commuting time has been shortened for many of them.
Chang said Taipei's real estate prices are unlikely to fall anytime soon since it is considered the political and business center of the country. She added that the city's population will continue to shrink as it is turning into an aging society with a low fertility rate, reported CNA.