This set of maps examines, at the neighborhood level, the 13 districts/cities of Taiwan that each have a population over 100,000, but have a relatively low Protestant church presence. (From here on the word “district” will be used to designate all the localities discussed, whether they are districts (區), cities (市), or towns (鎮).) A measure of the low church presence is the fact that for each of the 13 districts the population /# of Protestant churches ratio (church density) is over 10,000, ranging from 10,042 to 20,864. In contrast, the other 56 districts in Taiwan that have a population over 100,000 all have a population /# of Protestant churches ratio that is less than 10,000, ranging from 2,171 to 9,792. Sixteen of these districts have a church density under 5,000, and another 28 of these districts have a church density between 5,000 and 8,000.


Overall, the 13 districts have one church for every 12,263 people while the remaining 56 districts that have a population over 100,000 together have one church for every 5,678 people.


This set of maps looks at neighborhood (里) level statistics for the 786 neighborhoods that comprise the 13 districts. The goal was to examine the neighborhood population and church locations to see what insights they might yield and to identify neighborhoods which could be strategic locations for new churches.


The 13 districts include six that are in New Taipei City: ( Tucheng District (土城區), Panchiao District ( 板橋區 ), Shulin District (樹林區 ), Hsinchuang District ( 新莊區 ), Sanchung District ( 三重區 ), and Luchou District ( 蘆洲區 ). The other seven districts/cities are: Taoyuan City Pate District ( 八德區 ), Hsinchu County Chupei City ( 竹北市 ), Hsinchu City North District ( 北區 ), Changhua County Changhua City ( 彰化市 ), Changhua County Yuanlin City ( 員林市 ), Tainan City Annan District ( 安南區 ), and Kaohsiung City Hsiaokang District ( 小港區 ). The combined December, 2014, population of these 13 districts was 3,176,132, which is 13.6% of Taiwan’s total population.


Map 1 shows the church density range for all the districts, cities, and towns of Taiwan that had a population over 100,000 in December, 2014. The map shows that the great majority of the places (56 out of 69) fall in either the yellow or green ranges, meaning that there is at least one church for every 10,000 people.


Map 2 focuses on the 13 districts in Map 1 that are in the blue, purple, or orange range for the church density. The church density for these districts range from one church for every 10,042 people to one church for every 20,864 people. The desire for a closer look at each of these districts, in light of the low church presence for a high population area, was the motivation for making this set of maps.


A Bilingual Name List for the numbered areas on Maps 1 and 2 is provided. The map numbers for each of the districts in Map 2 were used to identify all of the maps made. For example, the maps for Tainan City’s Annan District are identified as 235 A, 235 B, 235 C, and 235 D. To download this name list, please click HERE.


Four neighborhood level maps were made for each of the 13 districts:


Map A for each district shows the population range for each of the neighborhoods in the district plus the locations of the Protestant churches listed for each district in the 2017 – 2018 Taiwan Church Handbook*. Since the 2017 - 2018 TCH uses population data from December, 2014, neighborhood population data for the same year and month was used for all the maps made for this project. The name of each neighborhood, in Chinese characters, is given on Map A and on all the other maps as well.


Map B is a key map in this set as it looks internally at the distribution of both the population and the Protestant churches within each district. The method used to do this was to make from 4 to 12 groupings of neighborhoods and then determine the total population and the total number of Protestant churches within each grouping. The results for each grouping are listed in a table of data included on each of the B maps.


The neighborhood groupings were determined in accordance with what seemed the best way to arrange the neighborhoods that are in the vicinity of each church or cluster of churches. Sometimes this was an easy decision, but often the groupings decided on were not that obvious and so they may appear to be arbitrary. The irregular shapes of the neighborhoods, especially those that are much longer than wide, resulted in some groupings that were not very compact. Another challenge were groupings that ended up with a church(es) located right on the border of the grouping. This happened often, but alternative ways of grouping the neighborhoods didn’t seem to be any better. In summary, the neighborhood groupings are one person’s judgement. The groupings could be done in different ways.


The set of B maps show very different situations. The B map for Hsinchuang shows that the Protestant churches are fairly evenly spread out among the population. The B maps for several districts, however, show that there are areas having large populations that have few or no churches. One example is Sanchung District (see map 43 B). The Sun Yat-sen Expressway traverses the northern part of Sanchung. The Sanchung neighborhoods that are north of this expressway have a total population of 116,000 people but only three Protestant churches! A band of Sanchung neighborhoods on the southern side of the expressway also have large populations but very few churches. Another example is Taoyuan City’s Pate District. In Pate all 11 Protestant churches are relatively close to Highway 4, which is a north/south highway that crosses the district. In both the eastern and the western regions of Pate there are large populations but no Protestant churches.


With the possible exception of Hsinchuang, each of the B maps identify groupings of neighborhoods that have relatively large populations with few, or no, churches and so could be strategic places for starting new congregations.


Map C shows neighborhood boundaries and Protestant church locations superimposed over satellite imagery. These maps make it easy to see concentrations of population and whether or not there are any churches in the area. Most of the maps are clear, though some, especially Luchou, have significant cloud cover that lessens the maps’ usefulness.


Map D shows the gender ratio for each neighborhood. These maps plot three ranges of the gender ratio, which is calculated as the number of males for every 100 females. A ratio of 95.0, or lower, (the blue range) shows there are significantly more females than males living in the neighborhood. A ratio over 105.0 (the red range) shows there are significantly more males than females living in the neighborhood. Green indicates neighborhoods that have a gender ratio that is between 95.0 and 105.0. In these neighborhoods the male/female numbers are closer to being balanced.


Map E shows the population density for each neighborhood. These maps were only made for the six districts that are in New Taipei City. In all six of these districts the maps show neighborhoods that have over 70,000 people / square kilometer. In Hsinchuang and Luchou the population density can exceed 100,000 people / square kilometer. Sanchung has the highest density of all. The population density for 10 neighborhoods in Sanchung exceeds 150,000 people / square kilometer! No population density data was obtained for the seven districts outside of New Taipei City.


It is hoped that this set of maps will be helpful tools for further understanding of the population and Protestant church distribution within these 13 districts, which are home to 3.2 million people. Together, the maps show many areas within these districts that have large populations but no churches. May the Lord raise up workers for all these areas who will go forward with faith and boldness to proclaim the gospel and start new churches.


I thank the Taiwan Missionary Fellowship for their willingness to post these maps on the TMF Mission Resource Center and pray that the maps will be useful for understanding, prayer, and ministry planning.


George McFall, TEAM, October, 2017


*Church data source: 2017 - 2018 Taiwan Church Handbook, Christian Resource Center, Taichung 統計的來源: 2017 - 2018 年台閩地區基督教堂會, 宗派, 宣教機構一覽表 基督教資料中心發行, 台中


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