Abbreviation(s): Miaoli (苗栗) or Miao (苗縣)
|Boroughs||1 cities, 17 (6 urban, 11 rural) townships|
|• County Magistrate||Liu Cheng-hung|
|• Total||1,820.3149 km2 (702.8275 sq mi)|
|Area rank||11 of 22|
|Population (January 2013)|
|• Rank||13 of 22|
|• Density||310/km2 (800/sq mi)|
|Bird||European magpie (Pica pica)|
|Flower||Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)|
|Tree||Tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans)|
Miaoli County (Chinese: 苗栗縣; pinyin: Miáolì Xiàn) is a county in western Taiwan. The name Miaoli was coined using two Hakka words, cat (貓) and raccoon dog (狸), which phonetically approximate Pali (Bari), a community of Taokas people. Miaoli is contiguous with Hsinchu county, Hsinchu city to the North, Taichung City to the South and borders Taiwan Strait to the West. The Council for Economic Planning and Development of Taiwan regard Miaoli as a county of Central Taiwan, while Taiwan Central Weather Bureau regard Miaoli as a county of the North. Miaoli city is the capital of the county, and is also known as "Mountain Town", owing to the number of mountains nearby, making it a destination for hiking.
Miaoli county is considered to be located in the central northern part of the Taiwan main island, contiguous with Hsinchu county, Hsinchu city and Taichung city. Xueshan Range is located on the border between Miaoli county and Taichung city. Miaoli county North to South averages about 50 kilometers and East to West averages about 64 kilometers. Diamond shaped in appearance. The overall coastline of Miaoli is about 50 kilometers long.
Miaoli has little flat lands (plateau) and very mountainous due to the Xueshan Range. Miaoli has rich rainfall along with abundant rivers.
Evidence of settlement in Miaoli dates back a thousand years. In the mid 17th century, ethnic Han Chinese (Hans) began to migrate into the area, beginning a gradual process of deforestation and establishment of permanent settlement sites. The prior inhabitants of Miaoli were either assimilated into the dominant Han population, or migrated deeper into the mountainous range. Miaoli was established as an independent county first in 1889. The county was at first eliminated under Japanese Imperial rule; between 1901 to 1908, parts of modern Miaoli, then known as Miaoli Ting (Chinese:苗栗廳) were merged into the district of Hsinchu Chou. The present government of Taiwan re-established the county of Miaoli in or about 1950, and it currently remains an independent county.
The main population of Miaoli county is the Hans and the Taiwanese aboriginal. The Taiwanese aboriginal constitutes about 1.9% of the total population. While the Hakka is the main settlement of the Hans.
- Taiwanese aboriginals
The Saisiat currently resides in the Wufeng Township of Hsinchu County and the Nanzhuang Township of Miaoli County. Due the oppression by initial Han immigrants, the Atayal aboriginal group and the Nanzhuang Incident, the population of the Saisiat people have decreased to 5,000 people. It is the least populated Taiwanese aboriginal group after the Ita Thaw. The traditions and culture of the Saisiat is greatly impacted by the Atayal aborigines and Hakka in the region.
During the Qing Dynasty, Miaoli was inhabited by Hakka. Currently, the inhabitants of the four coastal townships of Miaoli (Nanzhuang Township, Houlong Township, Tongxiao Township and Yuanli Township) consists of primarily Taiwanese Hokkien speakers. With the exception of the four coastal townships and Tai'an Township, the main population consists of Hakka.
Divisions of Miaoli County
|Township Name||Chinese Name||Surface Area（km²）||Number of Villages||Number of Neighborhoods||Population||Density（person/km²）|
Culture and Tourism
 The various cultural festivals of Miaoli County includes, Miaoli Marine Tourism, Meng-Hua Literary Award, Hakka Tung Hua Festival, Hakka folk song festival, Miaoli international tourism festival, etc.
Popular regional agriculture, food production and culture promoted by the government include strawberries from Dahu township, Hakka Zongzi, Sanwan Chinese pears, Touwu Daikons, Sanyi wood sculptures, Tai’an persimmons and many more.
- Taiwan railway administration passes through the Miaoli county and has 15 stations in the territory of Miaoli.
- Taiwan highspeed railway passes North to South through Miaoli but doesn't have a stop.
- The Miaoli government has proposed for a MRT like system in Miaoli downtown, but rejected by the central government.
Both Taiwan No 1 and Taiwan No 3 highways have stops here.
The main sports and recreational structures in Miaoli include Miaoli Sports Hall, Miaoli County Tennis Court and the Park of Zhunan Township.
In Taiwan National Athletic Games of 2011, Miaoli is ranked 21 out of 22 teams with 1 gold, 1 silver and 8 bronze.