Poll reveals Taiwanese identity at a five-year low

The youth are starting to change: fewer under 30 identify as Taiwanese

Self-identification is always susceptible to change.

Self-identification is always susceptible to change. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An annual poll conducted by CommonWealth Magazine reveals that the number of Taiwan citizens who identify as Taiwanese is at a five-year low.

The poll asked citizens, “Do you consider yourself Taiwanese, Chinese, or both?” Although 56.4 percent of participants answered “Taiwanese,” this is the lowest rate at which people have identified as Taiwanese since 2014.

Conversely, 34.1 percent of interviewees answered “both,” a record high over the last five years.

The change can be analyzed by the age demographic. In 2017, 76.7 percent of respondents 20-29 years old identified as Taiwanese compared to 72.7 percent this year. Additionally, in 2017 66.8 percent of respondents 30-39 years old identified as Taiwanese compared to 29 percent this year.

The number of respondents 30-39 years old who identified as “both” Taiwanese and Chinese increased by almost 10 percent.

The percent of 20-29 year olds who identified as “Chinese” increased from 1.1 percent to 4 percent.

When asked about cross-strait relations, opinions changed slightly more in favor of unification, especially "under the right conditions."

The poll asked, “If given the opportunity, do you wish to work in China?” The majority, 60.4 percent, responded “no” and 37.5 percent responded “yes.”