31% of Taiwanese earn less than NT$30,000


Not that Singapore is doing anything wrong (at least not in this department), those reports should all be taken with a grain of salt. If you want to find the reports that speak highly of Taiwan, there are a lot of them as well. See another global innovation index that listed Taiwan within top 10 out of 200 economies:

It’s all about methodology.


Do not compare Taiwan to Bangladesh. Taiwan is asian tiger, has TSMC and many other great companies. Taiwan grow 30 years with 10 % yearly, than economy slows down and here we go with another 30 years in china. We do not know how much money people have off the book. They run illegal factories for years. On both side of cross. They run illegal restaurants, illegal buxibans. I mean people made tone of money off the books. This money shows in no statistics.

Wit benefits like bonuses, median monthly income is def over 40k, specially in north taiwan. Keep it mind this is disposable income, ready to spent. No utilities, sometimes no food cost, cause they live at moma or grandma hotel. In west, 50 % of your salary goes straight way for renting and food. And you can be happy when is just 50 %, like really happy.

Next to all ordinary people, you have many with side income, side small business, and than you have professional business people. In economy like taiwan, you can not point out “oh look salaries are low”. Many engineers will get bonuses equal to their salary check. Who knows how many coupouns they get for hotels restaurants.

Am not saying people should move, but they should adjust. There is enough money in taiwan, and people can often go irrational, when it comes to face.There is demamd outhere. Is not that hard to make over 30k with small extra work next to main job. Or with small business. Not saying everyone should have professional business.Far from it

I paid wife colleague, semi professional photographer 8k for session at our marriage. He just took photos, i paid someone else for recording. He did good job, i like it so much i invited him for nice dinner. 8k is great for 8 hours of work.

I have few taiwanese friends, teaching english, first they started with 200, 300 and climb up to 600 twd

I know a girl charging 2k for group aerobics session. Less than 2 hours work. She is very likable and know how to sell herself. Has so much calls, can not keep up with demand.

I mean those skills are not that hard to get.

I really do not know why everyone wanna do a restaurant business.


I have a friend who got 1500 per hour by teaching English, which is absurd.


I just made the point that just because everybody is crammed together doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to make money. Your examples of pay for the freelancers is also quite poor although admittedly decent for Taiwan. But freelance work is usually not great for raising a family or paying a mortgage .
Useful for saving a bit of extra cash, yes.

Taiwan is really tough on older people and pay is abysmal in the hinterlands where most people live. You don’t get people paying much for freelance work there (I know a swim teacher , security guard,.factory operator , caretaker , kindergarten teacher ).The older generation really struggle to get paid a legal wage and get no benefits (caretaker, security guard). Some of them didn’t finish school because they had to help raise the other kids in the family. They often work overtime but none get paid for overtime.

Still people eke out livings with family support mostly , family sticks together and they have good medical care.


I got my first Taiwan patent in 2001 and currently have three so I’m familiar with the Taiwan patent landscape. It’s clearly a matter of quantity over quality. Taiwan inventors, for example, often place in the top three at invention fairs in places like Estonia and Outer Mongolia but it’s for “inventions” like peanut butter that glows in the dark rather than seminal blockchain or cloud computing patents.


Where can I buy the peanut butter ?


Look for the green glow at the nearest night market.


NT$30000 budget peanut butter or higher?


My point is reports as such are often flawed or even invalid as it’s all about their methodology. There are tons of reports or indices on stuff like competitiveness or prosperity or other crap. If they include Taiwan in their data, you’d see it being ranked near on top or within upper half.


Yea you are right here, many of olders have it really bad. Specially those from fucked up families, which gambled family wealth away easily.

And folks have no empathy for them. I saw olders with huge open wounds on legs in the middle of night markets. Next to place where people eat. No care, box for money was empty. People start watching, when me, naive waiguren giving him some coins


Hahahahaha. :joy::rofl:
You honestly think the average Taiwanese has no debt?
That is a laugh.
Sure, some young people may not be carrying any debt yet. However, quite a lot of people on this island have plenty of debt.


You are not meant to spend your savings.

I am not sure how you couldn’t save money, unless rent was triple the price 16 years ago which is unlikely.

I earn 69k a month, and can easily save 20k a month at 18% and at 5% I keep it at 20k and then spend a bit more on things I want. My rent is also 18k.

I have not gone home for 3 years, but this January I will go home because I can afford it now.


I was not able to save money because of debt, costs (not only myself to look after sometimes, Chinese school for two years, visas ) . Yes I should have controlled costs better for some things like rent and girlfriend at certain times but for years I was only paying 5000ntd in rent a month so I think it wasn’t the costs mostly. I wasnt even flying back to my homeland often. I also went for three year stints without going home.

I should qualify that I was able to save a small bit of money but peanuts compared to now and now I cover four people costs without even sweating. One of the reasons I can do that is I went to Chinese school part time for 2.5 years, during that time I was making around 45k per month a most.
Next job was 80k a month. Next job was 90k a month . Then two more jobs and it kept going up. Chinese was a major factor although not only factor in that.


People i know in taiwan, so young folks below 30s - are all without debt. Some have car debt, and many buy with cash. Could be i hang around wit strong middle class.

ofc otherwise folks have debt, is part of capitalism, but nothing like in the west, specially in USA, where people having debt at young age. Student debt is national sport there

Household debt is very managable, controlled, man. Overall taiwan is in great financial shape. Private, household, business and national debts all of them are secured. Nothing to worry

“Risks to broader financial stability are mitigated by high household assets and strong collateralisation. Fitch expects household debt to rise modestly to 84% of GDP in 2017-2018”

“However, high household debt is unlikely to pose a threat to broad financial stability. We estimate that household financial assets were worth 490% of GDP at end-2015, equivalent to nearly 6x household liabilities, even without taking into account households’ considerable holdings of non-financial assets, such as real estate”

"German financial services provider Allianz released its eighth edition of the “Global Wealth Report” yesterday, and Taiwan ranked fifth in terms of net per capita financial assets, moving up from 12th in 2000.

The report stated that net per capita financial assets in Taiwan reached EUR92,360 (NT$3.3 million) in 2016, up 9.6% year-on-year. Taiwan ranked second in Asia behind only Japan

Bank deposits remain the most popular form of asset handling, with 39% of household assets being deposited, though the proportion has decreased since 2008. 27% of assets are invested in securities, with another 25% in insurance and pensions.

Debt as a percent of GDP was 87% in 2016, above the world average of 71.5% but lower than that of Malaysia and South Korea. Debt per capita was EUR17,490"

Like am saying there is a lot of money in taiwan, a lot of assets and a bit of debt. Is not about salaries, when it comes to real estate prices or wealth of taiwanese people. Allways keep this in mind.


You should have been here inthe early 2000s for the Kazhai George and Mary times. A lot of folks loaded up on their credit cards then.

You know in general Taiwanese are careful with their money but they don’t have much spending power either. A lot of people surviving eating crappy bian dang everyday or mooching off their parents. Yeah it could take decades for a fiscal crisis to bubble up. I don’t think Taiwan is in that situation as there is probably still a lot more grey money that could be taxed here e.g. rents.

The problem I see is in the low paid economy model which doesn’t offer people improved standards of living over time and also creates a whole load of pollution at the same time. Who wants their kids to work in that kind of environment? Not me I can tell you.

Second big problem, lousy pensions. Common problem worldwide but it will be a bigger problem here because of the low pay in the first place. Low pay guarantees lousy pension (I’m also aware that many people in Taiwan invest in their own funds and that is a good thing too)


If he’s a professional Photographer 8 hrs is just the photo shooting session, he has to put in another 10-16 hours on touch up and photoshop work after that. He’s likely making closer to 400NT an hour not 1000.


The vast majority of this wealth is held by huge corporations and the older generation of family. Also a lot of this wealth is due to the high speculation of the real estate market in Taiwan. If the bubble pops there goes the majority of Taiwans bubble wealth as most Taiwanese hold money/future/retirement mainly in the house alone unless they’re uber rich.


Plus Taiwanese bosses are idiots. They think they can make as many changes for design work as they want and dont properly brief projects. Freelance work here is awful because of that.


The Allianz report clearly states that it’s financial assets, so real estate isn’t included. The median wealth is also high so according to these fancy pant bank groups, not all of the wealth is owned by corporations. Owned by older folks then probably. You can notice the same pattern in Italy. The average and median wealth are higher in Italy than in Germany, but the unemployment rate is three times higher in the former and plenty of Italians get something like €800-900 per month.

Unless you think this report (and credit Suisse report) is bs, which could be the case. You can look into their methodology.


Ill check out this report, a lot of the other reports floating around I read contain the real estate value in the wealth. Surprised to see TW is #5 in money minus real estate, must be mostly the older generation and their stocks.