Interactive chart shows how foreigners are distributed in Taiwan

Interactive chart shows how many foreigners of various nationalities live in different parts of Taiwan

Foreigners listed by largest number. (By Peter Burkimsher and Matus Peciar)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Two foreign IT professionals have created an interactive chart which shows how many foreigners of various nationalities live in different cities in Taiwan and gives some interesting insights.

The chart, which draws on data from Taiwan's National Immigration Agency, was first posted on the social media site Reddit on March 31 and soon received 67 up votes. Its creators are 28-year-old UK native Peter Burkimsher, who works as an engineer for OSE and has lived in Taiwan for three and a half years, and Matus Peciar, a 23-year-old Front-End Developer from Slovakia, who has lived in Taiwan for three years. 

The user-friendly chart can be sorted by total, city, country name, highest, lowest, male, female, regions and countries. 

SE Asia is king

Sorting by highest for the country as a whole, it quickly becomes apparent that the top five largest nationalities in Taiwan are all from Southeast Asian countries, with Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines comprising the lion's share. As for Western countries, the U.S. comes in at 7th place, Canada 10th, the UK 11th, France 14th, Germany 17th, Australia 18th and Italy rounds out the top 20. 


(Screenshot of Burkimsher and Peciar chart)

Taipei vs. New Taipei

As for cities where foreigners reside, Taipei City is clearly the leader for foreigners from Western countries such as the U.S., Canada, the UK and France, while New Taipei City has about half that number. On the other hand, the numbers are flipped for Southeast Asian migrant workers, as there are significantly more individuals from these countries in New Taipei than Taipei, especially in the case of men. This is probably due to the larger number of factories in New Taipei which tend to employ more men.


(Screenshot of Burkimsher and Peciar chart)


(Screenshot of Burkimsher and Peciar chart)

Gender gap


(Screenshot of Burkimsher and Peciar chart)

Indonesian and Philippine women far outnumber the men, probably because a large percentage are employed as domestic caregivers. While Vietnamese men outnumber their female counterparts, likely because they are primarily employed in male-dominated fields such as factory work and fishing. 

The opposite is the case foreign residents from Western countries with males often outnumbering women four to one. As can be seen in the chart, the number of women drops off dramatically when comparing developing Southeast Asian countries and developed countries such as Japan, the U.S. and South Korea.  

Not so many tech workers


(Screenshot of Burkimsher and Peciar chart)

Despite the presence of a plethora of Taiwanese tech companies in the Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu County, there is noticeable dearth of foreigners from developed countries such as Japan, Korea, the U.S., Singapore, Canada and the UK. India too is poorly represented with only 55 of its nationals located there. 

The next 5


(Screenshot of Burkimsher and Peciar chart)

Just looking at Americans, the top five most popular cities to live in besides Taipei in order of U.S. citizens are: New Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Taoyuan and Tainan. The number of American citizens barely breaks the 1,000 mark in New Taipei and Taichung, while they are only in the hundreds in Kaohsiung, Taoyuan and Tainan. Citizens of other Western countries are even fewer in these cities.

As can be seen from the nationality comparisons, it would serve Taiwan well to find ways to draw more professional talent from developed nations, especially women.