Population: 23,063,027 million inhabitants (June 2009)
Density: 635 inhabitants per sq. km
The five largest cities are:
- Taipei 7,871,900
- Kao-hsiung 1,519,711
- T'ai-chung-shih 1,040,725
- Tainan City 764,147
- Chi-lung 397,515
Social welfare policy in Taiwan is based on the Three Principles of the People, aimed at establishing social security, distributing social wealth, and ensuring a peaceful and beneficial society. To meet the public's growing need for social welfare, the Provincial Government is actively expanding social welfare services to provide positive support for socially and economically disadvantaged groups and establish a caring and harmonious society.
The social welfare personnel have grouped into 10 different types: Children Welfare, Youth Welfare, Woman Welfare, Elderly Welfare, Disabled Welfare, Community Development, Social Assistance, Social Insurance, Social Work, and Volunteers Services in the official statistics in Taiwan and Fuchien Area. And each type of social welfare personnel is organized into three groups as administrators, social workers and other professionals.
The educational system in Taiwan is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China. The system produces pupils with some of the highest test scores in the world, especially in mathematics and science. It has been criticized for placing excessive pressure on students and eschewing creativity in favor of rote memorization.
The present education structure supports 22 years of formal study. Completion times are flexible, depending upon the needs of the students. Normally, the entire process requires 2 years of preschool education, 6 years of primary school, 3 years of junior high, 3 years of senior high school, 4-7 years of college or university, 1-4 years of a graduate school program, and 2-7 years of a doctoral degree program.
Taiwan practices freedom of religion, generously accepting foreign religious ideas while honoring traditional beliefs: even within the same family, it is common for different faiths to exist. As a result, Taipei has welcomed the development of many different religions.
Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion of Taiwan. Over the past four centuries, the religion has now spread to almost 5 million people in the island.
Taoism ranks next to Buddhism in popularity and is now practiced by almost 4.5 million followers. The mystic religion initiated by Lao Tzu, is marked by its use of incense.
Catholicism had spread to Taiwan with the Spanish settlement, and is now followed by more than 304,000 believers.
Protestantism entered Taiwan in the hands of Georgius Candidus of the Reformed Church of Holland, and has spread widely to over 65 Protestant sects.
Hsuan-yuan Chiao is a considerably modern faith founded by Wang Han-sheng in 1957 as a mark of protest against communist annexation. The religion honors Huangti, the historic unifier of China.
Islam entered into Taiwan when a large number of Muslims immigrated to China in the 6th century AD. The new religion influenced various walks of Taiwanese life, though the religion was formally established quite recently in 1949.
Li-ism or the ‘doctrine of order’ was established in the 17th century by Yang Lai-ju who sought to formulate a religion that sieves the best out of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Many rituals practiced by the Li-ists therefore resemble those of the Buddhists.
Tenrikyo was established in 1838 by Miki Nakayam, and resembles Buddhism in its simplicity.
Baha’i entered Taiwan with an Iranian couple in 1954.
Tienti Teachings, Tien Te Chiao, I-Kuan Tao, Mahikarikyo are some aother religions practiced in Taiwan.