CITY LIFE:The ministry said married people in urban areas tend to value their independence and have less space, making it harder for joint families to live together
Staff writer, with CNA
About 21 percent of married Taiwanese aged 35 to 54 — more than 1.06 million people — live with their parents, even though they are financially independent, according to the Ministry of the Interior’s latest statistics.
The ministry released the data for the first time as a reference tool for local governments, to help them develop housing policies that better meet the needs of their constituents.
The ministry said people in this category “have the potential to live independently,” because they are financially independent from their parents and able to make a living and support a family.
The percentage of married people living with their parents tended to be higher in rural areas than in urban areas, the ministry said.
In the six special municipalities, 16 to 22 percent of married people aged 35 to 54 lived with their parents, compared with 26 to 33 percent in rural areas in central and southern Taiwan.
Fewer married people in urban areas live with their parents, because they tend to value their independence more, the ministry said.
They also have to deal with smaller apartments that make it harder for extended families to live together, it added.
Many houses in rural parts of central and southern Taiwan are multistory townhouses that can accommodate more people, it said.
Such structures allow married couples to live with their parents, but still enjoy a degree of independence by having one floor of the house to themselves, the ministry said.
Among the nation’s 22 cities and counties, Kinmen (33.79 percent), Yunlin (33.34 percent) and Chiayi (32.74 percent) counties had the highest ratios of potentially independent married people living with their parents, the ministry said.
Keelung (15.82 percent), Hsinchu (15.96 percent) and New Taipei City (16.71 percent) had the lowest ratios, it said.
In Yunlin and Chiayi — where agriculture is the main source of income — people tend to stay to help cultivate their family’s land, the ministry said, adding that it is also easier for married people to live with their parents to take care of them.
Many Keelung natives tend to move to bigger neighboring cities to find work and start their own families, the ministry said.
New Taipei City attracts many people from other parts of the nation to work and start families, also leading to a lower proportion of married people living with their parents, as does Hsinchu, home to one of the nation’s biggest science parks, the ministry said.