TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — By January, the population of Taipei had fallen to a 23-year low of less than 2.6 million, reports said Tuesday (April 13).
The official figure stood at 2,597,635, with all 12 districts registering a drop in the number of residents, the China Times reported.
Xinyi, an eastern district known for its glittering shopping malls, department stores, luxury apartments, and tall office towers including the iconic Taipei 101, registered the steepest drop, losing 6.3 percent of its residents, or 18,000 people, over the past five years.
The two districts with the next-biggest losses were Wanhua and Datong, older parts of the city on the western side that were the center of trade a century ago, before and during the Japanese colonial period.
Netizens identified the high price of housing as the main reason for the drop, though others also saw positives, such as reduced environmental pressure. City officials said the expansion of the Mass Rapid Transit network had allowed residents to move more easily, allowing for more balanced regional development.
The overall aging of the population also plays a part in Taipei, with the number of residents 14 years or younger falling by 11 percent and those between 15 and 64 dropping by 5.9 percent.
Taiwan’s overall number of inhabitants recorded its first-ever drop in 2020, falling by 41,885 to 23,561,236. By the end of March 2021, the country’s total population stood at 23,525,623, a drop of 0.3 percent from last year, meaning the country lost on average 194.2 people per day.