Taipei is located 25.05 latitude and 121.53 longitude and it is situated at elevation 10 meters above sea level. As the capital city of Taiwan, it is a modern metropolis with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings. The skyline is crowned by the 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper, with upscale shops at the base and a rapid elevator to an observatory near the top.
Despite coming from distant provinces with complex languages and ethnic backgrounds, new immigrants who migrated along with the Republic of China Government in 1949 can generally communicate in Mandarin Chinese. With the advent of public education, Mandarin has become the official language of Taiwan's various ethnic groups.
Since many Taiwanese are of southern Fujianese descent, Minnan (the Southern Min dialect) is also widely spoken. The smaller groups of Hakka people and indigenous tribes continue to preserve their own languages. Many elderly people can also speak some Japanese, as they were once subjected to Japanese education before Taiwan was returned to Chinese rule in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, which lasted for half a century.
Taiwan has a population of about 23 million people which consists of various ethnic groups. The aborigines who have inhabited the island for around 8,000 years make up 2.3% of the total population; the Han Chinese who migrated to Taiwan in the seventeenth century constitute the rest of the population.
The diversity of Taiwan’s culture and heritage formed with the integration of different ethnic groups and illustrate the harmony and prosperity possible among various religions, architecture, languages, lifestyles, and cuisines. Seventy percent of the population are concentrated in the five western metropolitan areas (Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung), among which the Taipei metropolis harbors Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan, and New Taipei City, the largest city in Taiwan.
After the 1960s, Taiwan underwent economic and industrial reforms, and experienced rapid social development. The economic achievements of the 1970s and 1980s allowed Taiwan to rank among the Asian Tigers and, in the 1990s, among developed countries.
Since the 1980s, the economic structure of Taiwan gradually shifted from labor-intensive industries to high-tech industries, wherein the electronics industry was particularly vital to the world's economy. Taiwan has excelled in the semiconductor, optoelectronics, information technology, communications, and electronics fields. At present, the economy is shifting toward nanotechnology, biotechnology, optoelectronics, and the tourism service industry.
Moreover, international trade is the economic lifeline of Taiwan. Japan and the United States were Taiwan's top two trading partners until 2005, when Mainland China took over as Taiwan's main import/export trading region, with Japan and the United States coming in second and third.
In recent years, the grim financial situations of the U.S.A. and European economies and the economic slowdown in China had a joint impact on the economic performance of Taiwan. In 2018, Taiwan's economic growth rate was 2.6%, the gross domestic product (GDP) was $589,369 million USD, with an average per capita GDP of $25,000 USD,the gross national income (GNI) was $600,039 million USD, with an average per capita GNI of $25,451 USD. In terms of commodity prices, the consumer price index decreased 0.05% this December (2018) in comparison to the last year. As for the employment situation, the average number of employed is 11.48 million people as of this December (2018); the average unemployment rate is 3.66%.