Hualien County has 340,000 inhabitants and is divided into 1 city and 12 townships.
Its late development means that many aboriginal cultures such as Ami, Atayal, Bunun, Truku, Sakizaya and Kavalan are well-preserved. Aborigines make up one-forth of the population of Hualien County (about 90,000). The Hakka people comprise about 30% of inhabitants.
Some towns have Japanese names because these towns were named by Japanese during the Japanese ruling period from 1895 to 1945.