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More on population density

In my previous post on population density Mark S commented that Yangmingshan is included in the area of Taipei City (Yangmingshan is a large mountain and national park in the north of Taipei). This would make the figures for population density lower than they actually are.

I decided to look around for some more data to analyse. I should note that calculating population density is always going to be subject to some errors. Exactly how the boundary of an urban area is defined varies. Large areas of land reserved as parks may make the population density seem lower than it really is.

I found this webpage which gives the area of Taiwan‘s cities and counties. For the population figures I used the Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of China 2004 which can be downloaded from here. I used this data to compile the following table.

City or County Population (2004) Area (km2) Population density (people/km2)
Taipei City 2,622,472 272 9,641
Kaohsiung City 1,512,677 154 9,822
Taichung City 1,021,292 163 6,266
Keelung City 392,337 133 2,950
Tainan City 754,917 176 4,289
Hsinchu City 386,950 104 3,720
Chiayi City 270,341 60 4,506
Taitung County 204,919* 3,515 58
Nantou County 487,398* 4,106 118

* Population is from the year 2000

I have included Nantou and Taitung Counties to provide some contrast with the cities. The figures show that Taipei and Kaohsiung have the highest population densities while the other major cities are lower. From my own observation it is clear that Taichung is much more spread out than Taipei City.

It is also worth comparing the figures with those for Hong Kong taken from here. The overall population density of Hong Kong is 6,217 people/km2. On Hong Kong Island the figure is 17,529 people/km2 and in Kowloon it is an extraordinary 45,474 people/km2.

The most densely populated district of Taipei, Da’an, has a population density of 27,546 people/km2. So it is still less densely populated than the most crowded areas of Hong Kong.

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Comment from Mark S.
Time 8 February 2006 at 9:23 am

Hi, David:

I dug out my dictionary-sized book of statistics for Taiwan and flipped through the section on population density. The most crowded area in all of Taiwan is part of the Taipei area — but in Taipei County rather than the city proper. It’s Yonghe, with 39,921 people per square kilometer, which puts it up there in the same league as Mumbai and Manila (though I’m certain those cities have individual areas much more crowded than Yonghe). So there’s another reason not to live there.

Suprisingly, Kaohsiung has an area more crowded than any in Taipei: the Xinxing district, with 30,732 people per square kilometer.

These figures are from 2000.

Comment from David
Time 8 February 2006 at 5:09 pm

Thanks for the figures Mark.