Greater Tainan’s population has increased by more than 9,000 during the past three years. Although its overall population growth rate is higher than Greater Kaohsiung, 27 of its 37 administrative districts (70 percent) have shown negative growth, which is mostly concentrated around the area north of Tsengwen River. This exemplifies how the rural-urban divide brought on by urbanization is still a significant problem for the local government.
Bureau of Civil Affairs Director Chen Tsung-yen says that having smaller populations in the area north of the river has been that way for years, adding that it was not caused by the municipal merger of the former Tainan city and county. Social factors such as natural deaths and people moving away have caused the demographic changes, Chen says. While negative population growth is common in many areas, Greater Tainan’s total population growth rate has still exceeded that of Greater Kaohsiung since 2011. Greater Tainan’s growth rate of 0.83 percent last year was higher than Greater Kaohsiung’s 0.44 percent, showing that Greater Tainan is the top spot for people relocating to southern Taiwan.
Analysis of the population for each district shows that Yongkang District has the largest population, followed by Eastern and Annan districts. The districts with the smallest populations are Longci, Zuojhen and Shanshang respectively. Yongkang District also seen the largest increase in population growth and exceeded the 10,000 mark. Eastern District has had the greatest negative population growth, losing 2,600 residents.
Demographic analysis is primarily used for policymaking and evaluated by industries for distribution and development purposes, Chen says. The Greater Tainan Government is working with National Cheng Kung University’s Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences on a human innovation and social activity research project for the National Science Council, using basic data to upgrade demographic analysis methods, finding each district’s development features and adjusting policy instruments for long-term care and labor demand to effectively bring about a more balanced development.
1. urbanization n.
都市化 (du1 shi4 hua4)
例: China’s urbanization rate is expected to reach 60 percent by 2018.
2. distribution n.
分佈；分布；分配 (fen1 bu4; fen1 bu4; fen1 pei4)
例: The distribution of koalas in Australia covers much of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and a small area in South Australia.
3. polarization n.
極化 (ji2 hua4)
例: Once the students delved into a political discussion an apparent polarization occurred in the class.
Urban polarization is a trend throughout the world, says Greater Tainan Bureau of Urban Development Commissioner Wu Hsin-hsiu. The local government is working hard to improve the quality of public services and to promote the use of fallow land to effectively lessen the rural-urban divide by creating unique regional characteristics, such as the development of land around Taiwan Sugar Co’s Sugar Factory in Sinying District, which is meant to help develop the area north of the river, Wu says.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)