Household disposable income last year averaged NT$1.09 million (US$35,014), rising 1 percent from 2020, while median household disposable income edged up 0.1 percent to NT$929,000, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said on Wednesday.
Average disposable per capita income advanced 2.1 percent to NT$377,000, while median per capita income gained 1.8 percent to NT$326,000, the agency said.
Average household income is used to help gauge the monetary well-being of a country’s citizens. Median household incomes are taken as indicators of standard of living because they include only disposable income and acknowledge that people sharing accommodation benefit from pooling at least some of their living costs.
Taipei led other special municipalities in household disposable income at NT$1.43 million, followed by Taoyuan, New Taipei City, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Tainan, the agency said.
However, people spent less for two consecutive years, as most stayed home to avoid infection during COVID-19 outbreaks.
Disease control measures also affected social gatherings and recreational activities, the DGBAS said.
The income gap last year rose to 6.15 times, a 10-year high, as the rich benefited from capital gains, another DGBAS survey showed.
The income difference for 2020 stood at 6.13 times, it said.
The liquidity-driven rallies across global financial markets last year significantly inflated asset prices for the wealthy.
However, the widening gap should not be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic as the government introduced waves of relief measures and subsidy programs to support affected people and businesses, the agency said.
The income of the top 1 percent in Taiwan accounted for a relatively low percentage of overall income compared with other countries, it added.
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