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Taiwan, The People of Taiwan

Taiwan’s estimated population in 2002 was 22,548,009, yielding an average population density of 626 persons per sq km (1,622 per sq mi). The population is unevenly distributed, however, as most people live on the plains and basins west of the Chungyang Range.

Taipei, Kaohsiung, and T’aichung are the three largest cities. Metropolitan Taipei is the political, economic, cultural, and transportation center of Taiwan. Kaohsiung is the major industrial center in the south and Taiwan’s largest commercial port. T’aichung is the major industrial center of central Taiwan.

In 1952 Taiwan’s birth rate was 46.6 births per 1,000 people. By 2002 the birth rate had fallen to 14.2 per 1,000. Since the 1950s the level of education has risen in Taiwan; people are now more affluent and they tend to have fewer children.

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