TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--There was a 100-fold difference in the monthly household income between the highest and lowest household income brackets in Taiwan in 2015, according to income tax return data released by Taiwan’s Fiscal Information Agency, Ministry of Finance (MOF).
According to the data, a Taiwanese family in the top 5% household income bracket earned an average yearly income of NT$4.715 million (about US$155,000) in 2015, while a household in the lowest 5% bracket earned merely an average of NT$47,000 in the same year. The difference is the second highest ever recorded, according to the agency.
Further analysis of the data showed that the average yearly salary and stock dividend income of a household in the top 5% bracket were NT$2.868 million and NT$1.23 million, respectively, which were 198 times and 97.5 times of a household in the lowest 5% income bracket. The breakdown showed that richer households did not only earn high salaries, their investment incomes were also high.
According to the MOF, about 6.13 million households filed consolidated income tax returns in 2015, and the total gross consolidated income was 5.7 trillion. However, the total income filed by the top 5% richest families accounted for 25.3% of all the income in the country in that year.
The degree of disparity between the rich and the poor in Taiwan also varies significantly according to geographical areas. In Taipei City, where multinational companies congregate, the average annual household income was NT$1.326 million in 2015, topping other areas in the country. Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County, where Hsinchu Science Park is located, came in second and third in the same year, with average annual household incomes of NT$1.292 million and NT$1.108 million, respectively.
Households in the agricultural counties of Chiayi, Nantou, and Pingtung were ranked at the bottom, earning an average of NT$732,000, NT$733,000 and NT$738,000 in the same year.