The standard of living in Taiwan is
comparable to that in Western countries. The population
is one of the most prosperous in Asia. The health
problems are also increasingly the same as in the West,
such as obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The general state social insurance systems are poorly
developed, but in 1995 a general health insurance scheme
was introduced covering the entire population. The care
is of a high standard. Both Western and traditional
Chinese medicine are used.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Taiwan, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
In 2012, a special childcare grant was introduced to
encourage increased childbirth (see Population and
Traditionally, the family has taken care of the
elderly; it was unthinkable to let old people live
alone. Older people, in turn, often contributed with
household chores and childcare. But with the entrance of
modern society and increasingly smaller family units,
more and more old people now live alone, without the
help of the family.
Previously, there was a clear link between ethnic
belonging and social class in Taiwan. Most of the
residents are ethnic Chinese, but there were strong
contradictions between groups that have long been in the
country (Taiwanese) and new arrivals (mainland Chinese).
The mainland Chinese dominated in politics and
administration, and belonged to the higher strata of
society. But the contradictions have diminished
considerably through a general "Taiwanization" of
society. In addition, the large economic promise means
that an increasing proportion of the population belongs
to a prosperous middle class.
Indigenous peoples are still over-represented among
the least privileged, with greater poverty and other
social difficulties. They largely live in villages and
smaller communities in the mountainous eastern parts of
Taiwan. In recent decades, the indigenous peoples have
been strengthened in their identity and joined together,
despite the fact that they are different, to fight for
rights to areas such as land. Only in the 1990s did they
get the right to use non-Chinese names in public
Traditionally, Taiwanese society is strongly family
oriented and patriarchal. Basically, there is a
Confucian ethic that emphasizes the importance of
honoring parents, ancestors and superiors. The sense of
duty and loyalty are words of honor; great emphasis is
placed on education and work. The collective is superior
to the individual, a Taiwanese is expected to
subordinate their own needs and feelings for the best of
Both individuals and groups fall under the central
concept of "face" - which is about reputation, dignity
and prestige. With modern Swedish, you can call it
avoidance as something that is "shameful". For many
Taiwanese, this is more important than something that
can be bought for money. You want to avoid losing your
face at all costs and, if necessary, have to act to save
your face. If a counterparty is in some way embarrassed
or humiliated in public, it is important to do what you
can to remedy: apologize, take on the blame, divert
attention, et cetera.
The most important collective is the family or the
family. The family may also include ancestors. Together
with gods and spirits, they are happy to have a cup of
tea or wine served on the family altar. Family names tie
together people. From the outset, it was not necessarily
blood ties, but could include people from one and the
The ideal family consists of several generations:
parents, married sons and their families, unmarried
children. Traditionally, the large family accounts for a
large part of financial transactions and social services
- you own land, have business and savings, take care of
children, the elderly and the sick. It is still common
for at least the oldest son and his family to live with
their grandparents. However, the family's role as a
business unit has been eroded and households are
becoming smaller. The nuclear family of the Western cut
is no longer uncommon. Marriage is generally concluded
by love and not as a business settlement between
parents, although their blessing is still important.
Modern society has also brought with it that
individuality is gaining an increasing role and social
adaptation is not the only yardstick. The woman's role
has also been significantly strengthened - through
education and high participation in working life, she
has a different position than before when she almost
became a property in the husband's family at marriage.
Since the 1990s, daughters also have the same
inheritance rights as sons, although they often
relinquish their right, especially in connection with
marriage. This applies not least to land ownership.
Formally, equal pay applies to equal work, but in
reality women earn significantly less than men.
The woman also has the greatest responsibility for
the home. The mother takes care of the young children,
who can also be cared for by older siblings. Children
are expected to be obedient, quiet, and helpful. Threats
and bark occur, but rarely discipline. The press is hard
on schoolchildren to do well; very many take extra
lessons outside of school hours.
Homosexuality is not prohibited, but discrimination
is also not prohibited by law and intolerance is great.
In the traditional family ideal there is no place for
homosexuals. In May 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled
in a ruling that legislation giving same-sex couples the
right to marry should be introduced and that this must
be done within a two-year period. A year later, in the
fall of 2018, referendums showed that there was little
popular support for same-sex couples to have as much
right to marry as heterosexual couples (seeCalendar).
Triumph of the Democratic Progress Party
The Democratic Progress Party is making strong strides in local elections.
Ex-president sentenced to prison
Chen Shui-bian and his wife are sentenced to life imprisonment. One son and
one wife and several co-accused were given shorter sentences.
The Prime Minister is leaving after typhoon
The typhoon Morakot hits the country hard. At least 600 people die in
connection with floods and landslides. Prime Minister Liu Chao-Shiuan resigns in
September because of criticism of the government's inadequate efforts in
connection with the disaster. He is succeeded by Kuomintang's Secretary-General
and Vice President Wu Den-yih.
The president becomes party chairman
President Ma Ying-jeou is elected chairman of the ruling Kuomintang party.
The Chinese President sends his congratulations.
New cooperation agreements with China
New cooperation agreements are signed with China. China announces that it no
longer opposes Taiwan's participation in World Health Organization (WHO)
meetings. Taiwan opens up for investment from the mainland.
The trial of Shui-bian begins
The trial of former president Chen Shui-bian begins. Che Shui-bian, who began
a hunger strike in prison in February of that year, is accused of, among other
things, fraud and bribery.