Taiwan Fact File
Area – 13,900 square miles. Previously known as Formosa, it is about 100 miles from the Chinese mainland. It comprises the island of Taiwan, and the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy islands.
Environment – A tropical climate, with typhoons during the monsoon season (June to August). Forested mountains (highest point 13,113 ft) run the length of Taiwan. There is a broad, fertile plain to the west.
Population – 22 million, mainly living in the western coastal plain, one of the most crowded parts of the world.
Urbanisation – 74%.
Life expectancy – 77 years.
Literacy – 92%.
Languages – Taiwanese 67%; Hakka 11%; Mandarin 20% (official language); others 2%.
Cities – Taipei (capital city; 2.7 million), Kaohsiung (main port; 1.4 million), Taichung and Tainan.
Economy – Taiwan’s industrially based economy has remained sound, in spite of the South East Asian financial crisis of 1997. Taiwan is a major investor in other Far Eastern economies including China’s. Its greatest natural resource is agricultural land. It also has small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos. Its exports include machinery and electrical equipment, electronic products and textile products.
Religions – Freedom of religion. Chinese religions (Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism) 70%; non-religious and others 25%; Protestant 3%; Roman Catholic 2%.
Protestant denominations – Nearly 100 denominations, including Presbyterian, Independent, Little Flock, Chinese Baptist, Taiwan Holiness (OMS), Ling Leung Tang, and various Methodist, Baptist, mission and Pentecostal church groups.
Although over two thirds of Taiwanese Protestants claim to be evangelical, nominalism is rife, with huge inroads made into the churches by decisionism and liberal theology. The Reformed faith is largely absent.