Tamsui (淡水) saw the biggest population growth among New Taipei City’s (新北市) districts last year, while Yonghe (永和) recorded the lowest, statistics from the municipality’s Civil Affairs Department show.
The population in Tamsui increased by 4,554 people last year, while Yonghe lost about 1,700 residents.
Overall, the municipality’s population reached 3,954,929 by the end of last month, an increase of about 15,600 people compared with 2012.
Officials estimate that the population will reach 4 billion in three years.
Banciao (板橋) is New Taipei City’s most densely populated district, with 556,920 people, while Pingsi (平溪) has the fewest people of the districts, with 5,002.
The districts with the top five highest growth rates are Tamsui, Linkou (林口), Sinjhuang (新莊), Sansia (三峽) and Sijhih (汐止), in that order.
The districts with the highest population growth rate are Linkou with 4.7 percent, Tamsui with 3 percent, Sansia with 2.1 percent and Bali (八里) with 1.3 percent, followed by Sijhih and Shulin (樹林) both with 0.8 percent.
Thirteen of the 29 districts in the city showed a negative population growth rate, with Pingsi (minus-2.1 percent) topping the list.
Civil Affairs Department senior executive official Yeh Yuan-chih (葉元之) said Tamsui, Linkou and Sansia showed higher population growth in recent years because the housing prices in these more recently developed areas are more affordable than in older districts, and also because people are attracted by the convenience of the MRT lines, expressways and other transportation infrastructures in these areas.
Tamsui District Administrator Tsai Yeh-wei (蔡葉偉) said the housing prices in his area are relatively low for the Greater Taipei area, and construction will start this year on a light rail transit system and the Tamkang Bridge (淡江大橋), so it is not surprising to see more people moving into the district.
“High housing prices in Yonghe could account for its population loss because many residents who want to buy new homes are more likely to invest in new developments,” Yonghe District Administrator Wu Hsin-bon (吳興邦) said.
New Taipei City Councilor Chiang Yung-chang (江永昌) said that although Yonghe is close to Taipei City, it is densely populated and its limited space for development with attractive living environments could impact people’s decision to move there.