Foreigners in Taiwan agree NT$27,000 a month insufficient to survive in Taipei

'Lots of young people in Taiwan have to work overtime to be able to earn NT$27,000 a month.'


screenshot of a video by YouTuber Best Of Taiwan - 圖佳

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A video posted by a foreign YouTuber in Taiwan about the low average starting salary of local university graduates has resonated with a great number of netizens and garnered 200,000 views in just a week.

Tu Chia (圖佳), a Turkish YouTuber with the account “Best Of Taiwan - 圖佳,” posted a video on June 4 featuring interviews with expatriates in Taiwan on questions about the starting salary for college graduates in their respective countries, and whether they consider the monthly wage of NT$27,000 (US$899) is sufficient for Taiwanese youths to live in Taipei. 

Most of those interviewed, spanning nationalities of Japan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, France, and the U.S., agreed that the amount of NT$27,000 is not enough for youths in their homeland countries to survive due to their relatively high living standards.

The monthly salary for college graduates on average starts at NT$50,000 (Hong Kong and France), NT$60,000 (the U.S. and Australia), NT$60,000 to NT$70,000 (Japan), and South Korea (NT$80,000), according to the respondents.

Only a Malaysian and a Burmese believe people can live on the humble wage of NT$27,000 a month in their countries, with the latter pointing out that even a doctor in Myanmar earns less than NT$30,000 on average.

Asked whether they deem the amount enough for Taipei dwellers, all of the foreigners answered “no” regardless of nationality. An American female observed that youths in Taipei are living a difficult life burdened with utility fees, internet bills, and other expenses on top of an apartment rent of at least NT8,000 (US$266).   

The video has sparked heated discussions among local Taiwanese, who shared the same gloomy views with the interviewed foreigners:

“Taiwanese feel even poorer going on a trip abroad.”

“It’s sad to see that ordinary people in Taiwan only earn more than several Southeast Asian countries and few non-developed countries.”

“Lots of young people in Taiwan have to work overtime to be able to earn NT$27,000 a month.”