TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan recorded its first population drop in modern history last year, decreasing by 41,885 people to 23,561,236, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Saturday (Jan. 23).
The MOI attributed the decline to a lower birth rate, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and a sharply reduced influx of foreign residents, CNA reported.
When comparing deaths to births, the rate of natural increase actually dropped by 7,907 people. Due to the lower number of foreigners entering Taiwan amid the pandemic, the migration balance also fell, down 33,978 individuals from 2019.
Taiwan's population passed the 20-million mark in 1989 and reached 23 million in 2008, according to official data. After reaching a peak of 23.6 million in 2019, the population has now returned to the level set in 2017, the MOI said.