Provinces of Taiwan

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International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). Both of them use "Taiwan, Province of China" as the official name of this area (which is a slight misnomer, as it neglects the ROC part of Fukien). It lists what I consider secondary subdivisions for Taiwan. For details, see the Counties of Taiwan page.

Update 2 to "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" was published on 2010-11-30. For Taiwan, it revokes the province codes and replaces them by a set of county and municipality codes. Specifically, Fukien and Taiwan provinces no longer have FIPS codes.

Country overview: 

Short nameTAIWAN
ISO codeTW
LanguageChinese (zh)
Time zone+8


Taiwan belonged to Japan in 1900, as a spoil of the Sino-Japanese War of 1895. When World War II ended, Taiwan returned to Chinese rule. As Communists extended their control throughout mainland China, the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Shek retreated to Taiwan. At present, the position of most governments and international organizations is that there is only one China. The open question is whether its legitimate government is the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing, or the Republic of China (ROC) in Taipei. According to the ROC government, the provinces of China still stand as they did in 1949. The province which the ROC calls Fukien is the same as the one which the PRC, using Pinyin transcription, calls Fujian. However, in the listing below, only the area and population under the control of the ROC are shown.

Other names of country: 

  1. Chinese: Chung-hua Min-kuo (formal)
  2. Danish: Taiwan, Formosa (obsolete)
  3. Dutch: Taiwan, Republiek China (formal)
  4. English: Taiwan Province of China, Republic of China (formal), Formosa (obsolete)
  5. Finnish: Taiwan, Kiinan tasavalta (formal)
  6. French: Taïwan Province f de Chine, République f de Chine f (formal), Formose (obsolete)
  7. German: Taiwan n, Republik f China n (formal)
  8. Icelandic: Taívan
  9. Italian: Taiwan
  10. Portuguese: Taiwan, Formosa f, Taipé Chinês, República f da China f (formal)
  11. Russian: Китайская Республика (formal)
  12. Spanish: Taiwán
  13. Swedish: Taiwan
  14. Turkish: Tayvan, Çin Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Chinese tai: terrace, wan: bay, referring to a harbor on the western coast

Primary subdivisions: 

Taiwan is divided into two provinces and five special municipalities.

New TaipeiTW.NT4,054,4672,053793Banqiao
7 divisions23,123,86636,19213,974


Notes: Chung-hsing-hsin-tsun is translated Chunghsing New Village. Fuzhou is in the PRC's part of Fukien.

Further subdivisions:

See the Counties of Taiwan page.

On a secondary level, the provinces of Taiwan and (the ROC part of) Fukien are subdivided into hsien (counties, districts) and shih (municipalities, cities). Kaohsiung and Taipei don't have any subdivisions at this level.

Territorial extent: 

  1. Fukien province consists of two island groups, each constituting a hsien. One of them is Kinmen (islands of Quemoy (Kinmen), Tatan Tao, Hsiaochinmen Tao, Tungting Tao). The other is Lienkiang (islands of Matsu, Changhsu Chan, Tungyin Tao, Tungchuan Tao).
  2. Kaohsiung includes the area around Kaohsiung city on the main island, and the island of Liuch'iu Yü.
  3. Taipei is completely surrounded by New Taipei special municipality.
  4. Taiwan province includes the Penghu island group, called the Pescadores (fisherman islands) by early Portuguese explorers, and some smaller islands: Pengchia Yü, Chihwei, Kueishan, Huoshao, and Hungfou Hsü (Lan Yü).
  5. Taiwan, as a country, also claims the Spratly and Paracel Islands.

The UN LOCODE page  for Taiwan lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Taipei means "Taiwan north".

Change history: 

  1. 1967: Taipei special municipality split from Taiwan province.
  2. ~1989: Capital of Taiwan province moved from Taichung to Chung-hsing-hsin-tsun.
4 divisions22,300,92920,393,62836,17813,968
  • Province: except Kaohsiung and Taipei, which are chuan-shih (special municipalities).
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-2000: 2000-12-16 census
  • Pop-1990: 1990-12-16 census
  1. 2010-12-25: Taichung, Tainan, and New Taipei special municipalities split from Taiwan province.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Fukien: Fuchien, Fujian (variant)
  2. Kaohsiung: Gaoxiong (Pinyin)
  3. Taipei: Taibei (Pinyin); Taipé (Portuguese); Taipeh (German, Italian)


  1. [1] Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of China 1992. Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Executive Yuan, Republic of China, 1992.
  2. [2] 2010 Population and Housing Census , County/City Report (retrieved 2013-09-25).
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