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Foreign laborer population hits 517,000

TAIPEI -- Migrant laborers make up nearly three fourths of all foreign residents in Taiwan with a population of 517,000 as of the end of June, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior.

The total number of foreign residents in Taiwan as of that date was 713,000, of which 85 percent come from Southeast Asia.

The numbers exclude Chinese nationals, who are not considered foreign by Taiwan's government.

Taoyuan County, a center for industry, had the highest population of foreign laborers, followed by New Taipei and Taichung.

Across Taiwan, Indonesian nationals made up 43 percent of all foreign laborers, followed by Vietnamese nationals at 26 percent and Philippine nationals at 19.4 percent. Compared to last year, the total number was up 55,000.

The data showed that the ratio of Indonesian workers increased the most at 8 percentage points over the past five years, while the ratio of Thai workers has decreased over the past three years.

As for foreign residents married to Taiwanese citizens, the number stood at 44,000, or 6.2 percent of all foreigners in the country.

Vietnamese nationals made up the largest single group of non-citizen spouses at 37.3 percent, followed by Thai nationals at 14.3 percent.

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