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Taiwan denies emigration rising due to war fears

Numbers returning to pre-COVID levels

The MOI denies emigration is rising fast. 

The MOI denies emigration is rising fast.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Interior (MOI) on Tuesday (Nov. 7) rejected claims that emigration from Taiwan was speeding up due to fears of war with China.

Legislators recently claimed that migration brokers were seeing business improve because many people had decided to leave the country, per UDN. However, the MOI said that figures provided by the companies told a different story.

Last year, 704 people had emigrated with the help of brokers, according to the report. While the trend showed a rise from the 499 recorded in 2020 and the 469 in 2021, those two years were exceptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MOI said.

In 2018, the migration brokers reported 1,077 cases, and in 2019, 874 cases. The figure for last year amounted to a return to normal, according to the ministry.

After the end of the pandemic, interest in moving out of Taiwan rose, but there was no rush toward the exit, the MOI said. Looking at the number of people having given up their household registration, the total for 2023 until October had reached 21,997.

Over the two previous years, the figure reached 183,000 and 227,000 respectively, but the MOI said the main reason was that people had been unable to travel because of the pandemic. Citizens who did not return home within two years lost their household registration, explaining the high figures for 2021 and 2022.

Before COVID, more than 44,000 people ended their household registration in 2018, and more than 42,000 in 2019. The total rose to 61,973 in 2020, per UDN.