The number of migrant workers in Taiwan has reached a historic high of more than half a million, according to annual statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior on Saturday.
An increase of 68,000 between December 2013 and December last year now brought the total number to 550,200.
Migrant workers now account for almost 70 percent of the 800,000 foreign nationals — excluding Chinese nationals — living in Taiwan.
They are currently limited to employment as industrial laborers, domestic caretakers and maritime workers.
The report shows that 41.6 percent are from Indonesia, 27.3 percent from Vietnam and 20.2 percent are from the Philippines.
Statistics from the past five years show a 9.8 percent decrease in migrant workers from Thailand and a gradual increase in Indonesians.
There was a significant increase in the number of migrant workers who were employed as industrial workers throughout last year, along with a small increase in foreign domestic caretakers and maritime workers.
The total number of migrant workers has seen an increase of more than 200,000 over the past decade, with the number in 2004 around 314,000 people.
Meanwhile, among foreign nationals with resident visas, foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens account for the second-largest group, with about 43,000 people — of whom Vietnamese account for slightly more than one-third.
More than 130,000 foreign nationals are in Taiwan with visitors’ visas, with the top three nations of origin being Japan at 25.78 percent, the US at 16.05 percent and Malaysia at 9.41 percent.
Most foreign nationals reside in Taoyuan, New Taipei City and Taipei.
Additional reporting by CNA
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