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## Population

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**Population summary**

At the end of March 2005, there were 267 villages, 4,551 neighborhoods and 156,251 households in Miaoli. The population was 560,070, having decreased by 325 or 0.06% compared with the end of the previous month and decreased by 793 or 0.14% compared with March 2004. In March 2005, there were 266 married couples, an increase of 67 pairs or 33.67% over March 2004.

Natural dynamics: In March 2005, 458 babies were born and 452 people died. The natural increasing number was 6 which had decreased 4 people or 40.00% compared with last month. It decreased 130 people or 95.59%, compared with March 2004.

Social dynamics: In March 2005, 1,867 people moved in and 2,198 people moved out, the population decreased 331 people, compared with the social dynamic index of February, increasing 178 moving-out people or 116.34% moving-out rate. Compared with March 2004, the social dynamic index increased 260 moving-out people or 366.20% moving-out rate.

At the end of March 2005, the population was 560,070, among which 293,651 were male and 266,419 were female. The male/female ratio was 110.22%. Among 18 counties of Miaoli, the ratio was highest in Nanjhuang Township, 126.64%. The ratio in Shihtan Township was the second, 126.38%, Taian Township the third, 124.61%. The male/female ratio was lowest in Miaoli City. The second lowest was in Jhunan Township, 105.22%.

The population density was 308 in March 2005. Among the 18 counties, Miaoli City had the highest density average 2,401 people per square km. Jhunan Township has the second highest density, 1931 people and Toufen Township was in the third place, 1,731 people per square km. The place with the lowest population density was Tai-an Township, average 9 people per square km.

Population distribution, density and number of households

**1. Population distribution**

The area of Miaoli County is 1820.3149 squre km, accounting for 5.06% of Taiwan. At the end of 2004, the population of Miaoli was 560,643 people, 293,975 males (52.44%) and 266,668 males (47.56%). The major population was distributed in Miaoli City, Toufen Township and Jhunan Township with population of 16.25￠H, 16.45￠H, 12.91￠H of the total population respectively. The area of the three places is less than 3% of the total area. The population density was very high in these three places. Tai-an Township and Shihtan Township are in remote areas without convenient transportation. Commercial activities are few in this area. The population was only 0.98% and 0.94% for Tai-an Township and Shihtan Township respectively. The area of Tai-an Township accounts for 1/3 of the total area but with many mountains. The population was small( Graph 1). . The population was small.( Graph 1)

** Number of population in each area in 2004 (**Graph** 1)**

** Population density**

The population density was the highest in Miaoli City, Toufen Township and Jhunan Township, with 2,405, 1,927 and 1,730 people per square km respectively. The lowest density was in Tai-an Township, with 9 people per square km. The second lowest density was in Shihtan Township, with 66 people per square km. The third lowest density was in Nanjhuang Township, with 71 people per square km. The difference of the highest and lowest population density was 267 times. This shows that the population was concentrated in the city or areas with more commercial activities. There were few people in the mountain areas or areas with little commercial activities. To reach a balanced development, it is our plan to enhance the transportation system and promote agricultural, forestry, husbandry and tourism to increase the income of less developed townships and balance the development of population.

**Number of people in each household**

Due to the small family trend, the population of Miaoli is decreasing each year. In 1994 there were 4.42 people per household, decreasing to 3.6 people per household in 2004. The decreasing rate was 18.55%. Among the 18 counties, in Yuanli Towanship, Gongguan Township and Tongsiao Township there were 3.88, 3.82 and 3.76 people in each household respectively. In contrast, in Nanjhuang Township, Tai-an Township and Sihu Township there were only 3.18, 3.23 and 3.31 people in each household respectively.

**Gender ratio**

Starting from 1994, Miaoli County’s male/female ratio increased to 110% or higher. At the end of 2004, the population was 560,643, among which 293,975 were male and 266,668 were female. The male/female ratio was 110.24%. In Toufen Township, the most populated in Miaoli, the ratio was 105.61%, the third lowest among 18 counties of Miaoli. The second and third most populated were Miaoli City and Jhunan Township, with the lowest and second lowest ratio respectively. The ratio was highest in Nanjhuang Township, 126.67%, with less population only 11,807 people. (Details in Graph 2)

**Miaoli County´s male/female ratio (Graph 2)**

**Age structure ** Starting from 1991, young children population (0-14 years) was decreasing in the total population whereas young adult population (15-64 years) and elder population (65 years and beyond) were increasing. Therefore, the relative caring ratio of young children was decreasing whereas the relative caring ratio of elder population was increasing. At the end of 2004, there were totally 560,643 people in Miaoli County. Young children population (0-14 years) was 109,515 or 19.53% of the total population. Young adult population (15-64 years) was 382,793 or 68.28% of the total population. Elder population (65 years and beyond) was 68,335 or 12.19% of the total population. The caring rate (the number of dependents per 100 young adults takes care) was 46.46%. That is, each 100 young adults need to take care of 47 dependents. Among the 18 Townships, Shihtan Township, Sihu Township and Sanwan Township had the highest caring rate of 57.97%, 57.40% and 55.36% respectively. Jhunan Township had the lowest dependent population index of 42.63%. Shihtan Township, Sihu Township had the highest aging index of 128.68% and 104.40% respectively. Sanwan Township had the lowest aging index of 39.70%. The aging index increased from 36.69% in 1994 to 62.40% in 2004 in Miaoli County. This trend indicates that population aging is a important characteristic of the development of Miaoli’s population. Therefore, enhancing the quality of the population, improving elder and young children caring policy and balance the population distribution are our current important tasks (Details in Graph 3).

Miaoli County´s Age(**Graph 3)**

** Education**

At the end of 2004, the population of people older than 15 years olds was 451,128 in Miaoli, among which 441,677 (97.91￠H) were literate. There were 108,052 (23.96%) college-educated, 156,870 (34.77%) senior high school or junior college graduated, 176,755 (39.18%) junior high school graduated or under. Literate people accounted for 97.91% of people older than 15 years olds in Miaoli County, which revealed the popularity of education in this county. But the percentage of people receiving education higher than college was relatively low, which was a worth-noticing problem.

** Marriage condition**

From the end of 1994 to the end of 2003, the percentage of married people increased gradually, but slightly decreased in 2004. On the other hand, the percentage of divorced people also increased gradually, which showed the instability of modern marriage. At the end of 2004, there were 253,218 (45.17%) unmarried people, 256,764 (45.8%) married people, 19,980 (3.56%) divorced people, 30,681 (5.47%) widowed.

**Population Dynamics**

** **Natural Dynamics

In 1994, the natural increasing rate (gross birth rate minus gross death rate) was above 1 %. From 1995, the natural increasing rate dropped under 1%. In 2004, the natural increasing rate was 0.319%, which was the lowest in the recent 10 years. In 2004, Toufen Township had the highest natural increasing rate 0.503%, Jhunan’s 0.487% was the second, Sanyi’s 0.446% was the third, Shihtan’s -0.415% was the lowest. (Details in Graph 4)

**Miaoli county population growth rate** ( Graph 4 )

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