Sun, Oct 03, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Aboriginal birth rate outstrips the rest of the nation

CNA , Taipei

The number of Aborigines has increased 23.8 percent over the past decade while the nation's total population has grown only 7 percent during the same period, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) reported yesterday.

According to MOI tallies, Taiwan had 452,000 indigenous people at the end of August, accounting for 2 percent of the nation's total population.

The number marked a 2.43 percent growth from the year-earlier level.

Among them, 53.05 percent lived in mountainous regions while the remaining 46.95 percent resided in the plains.

In terms of administrative districts, Hualien, Taitung and Pingtung had the largest Aboriginal communities, with 48.59 percent of Aborigines living in the three counties.

The offshore frontline island of Matsu, which lies closer to China than to Taiwan, had the smallest Aboriginal population of 67 individuals.

The MOI statistics also showed that the indigenous people's "greying index" is only half that of the total population, indicating that Aborigines are generally younger than other local citizens.

The indigenous people's "greying index" is 23.01 percent, far lower than the overall population's "greying index" of 48.05 percent.

The current average age of Aborigines is 30.27, lower than the average age of 34.6 of the local population overall.

Among Aborigines, those aged 65 and over account for 5.85 percent of the total, compared to the 9.38 percent ratio in the nation's overall population.

The MOI survey also found that Aborigines aged below 14 accounted for 25.42 of the total, compared to a 19.52 percent ratio of under-14-year-olds in the overall population.

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