Taipei, July 29 (CNA) Over the past few years, Taiwan has seen slower growth in the number of "new immigrants" arriving in the country, a category that predominantly refers to the foreign and Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals, who live in Taiwan.
The slowdown is largely attributable to a sharp decline in the number of Chinese spouses of Taiwanese citizens, although there has been a slight increase in the number of spouses from other foreign countries, Hong Kong and Macau over the past few years, according to a report compiled by the Budget Center of the Legislative Yuan.
As of the end of March, the number of new immigrants resident in Taiwan totaled 533,159, including 338,940 Chinese spouses and 101,333 Vietnamese spouses, the report indicated, citing National Immigration Agency (NIA) statistics.
The report indicates that over the past few years, the number of foreign spouses (a category that does not include spouses from China) married to Taiwanese citizens has increased slightly, from 3,277 in 2010 to 6,001 in 2017, with the number of Hong Kong and Macau spouses rising from 308 in 2010 to 919 in 2017.
However, in the same period, the number of Chinese spouses fell from 11,136 in 2010 to 2,456 in 2017, according to the report.
Overall, the growth in the number of new immigrants has slowed down over the past few years. For example, Taiwan saw a record 15,174 new immigrants in 2011, but that number fell to 9,376 in 2017.
According to an NIA report, the labor participation rate for new immigrants was 55.96 percent in 2008 but fell to 46.63 percent in 2013, both figures lower than the average labor participation rate for Taiwanese nationals, which was 57.9-58.43 percent over the five-year period, the Budget Center report shows.
The NIA report indicates that new immigrants mainly work in the service sector as sales persons and entry level technicians, with up to 75 percent making a monthly salary of less than NT$30,000 (US$1,002).