Exploring Chinese History
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Population pyramid for China
Population pyramid for China
Fig 1

Population: 1,298,847,624 (July 2004 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.3%
(male 153.4 million; female 135.8 million)
15-64 years: 70.3%
(male 469.3 million; female 443.3 million)
65 years and over: 7.5%
(male 46.3 million; female 50.8 million)
(2005 est.)

Median age:
total: 31.8 years
male: 31.5 years
female: 32.2 years (2004 est.)

Population growth rate:
Overall: 0.57%
Birth rate: 12.98 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 6.92 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2004 est.)

Demographics of China; number of inhabitants in thousands (2005)
Demographics of China; number of inhabitants in thousands (2005)
Fig 2

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2004 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 25.28 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.84 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 29.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.96 years
male: 70.4 years
female: 73.72 years (2004 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.69 children born/woman (2004 est.)

Population Policy

Economic reforms have triggered internal migrations within China
Economic reforms have triggered internal migrations within China
Fig 3

With a population of over 1.3 billion and an estimated growth rate of 0.57%, the PRC is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted with mixed results to implement a strict family planning policy. The government's goal is one child per family, with exceptions in rural areas and for ethnic minorities. Official stated government policy opposes forced abortion or sterilization, but allegations of coercion continue as local officials strive to meet population targets. The government's goal is to stabilize the population and population growth early in the 21st century, although some current projections estimate a population of anywhere ranging from 1.4 billion to 1.6 billion by 2025.


noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic Groups

The People's Republic of China (PRC) officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest of which are Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population. Large ethnic minorities include the Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uighur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Tujia (5.75 million), Mongolian (5 million), Tibetan (5 million), Buyi (3 million), and Korean (2 million).


According to official reports, the definition of literacy is anyone age 15 and over who can read and write 1500 characters or more.
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2002)

Other studies indicate the official numbers are inflated and otherwise inaccurate and report a 50% literacy rate.

The Chinese World

The Chinese Demographic World

The Chinese world or Chinese cultural world is an expression used for a group of East Asian countries/ dependencies/ territories and the well established overseas Chinese communities across the world (Chinese diaspora) linked to mainland China because they are widely influenced by the Chinese culture.

The Chinese world is considered to be made up of:

Using these estimates, the Chinese world population totals 1,369,451,000- 1,374,451,000 (1.369- 1.374 billion), or about 20% of the entire world's population.

The Chinese Cultural World

The Chinese world as a cultural notion, is shown to have strongly influenced some foreign cultures, such as Japanese (population of 120 million), Korean (combined population of 70 million), Vietnamese (population of 80 million), and Mongolian (population of 2.5 million). Using these figures, combined with those above, it can be said that the Chinese cultural world consists of between 1,641,951,000 and 1,646,951,000 (1.642- 1.647 billion) people worldwide.

Size and Distribution of Minority Nationalities in China

Minority Nationality Approximate Population Major Areas of Distribution
Zhuang 13,400,000 Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region; Yunnan, Guangdong, Guizhou provinces
Hui 7,200,000 Ningxia-Hui Autonomous Region; Gansu, Henan, Qinghai, Yunnan, Hebei, Shandong provinces; Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Uygur 6,000,000 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region; Hunan Province
Yi 5,500,000 Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou provinces; Guangxi- Zhuang Autonomous Region
Miao 5,000,000 Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan provinces; Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region
Manchu 4,300,000 Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Hebei provinces; Nei Monggol Autonomous Region; Beijing Municipality
Zang (Tibetan) 3,800,000 Xizang Autonomous Region; Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu provinces
Monggol 3,400,000 Nei Menggu Autonomous Region; Liaoning Province; Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Tujia 2,800,000 Hubei, Hunan, and Sichuan province
Bouyei 2,100,000 Guizhou Province
Korean 1,800,000 Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Liaoning provinces
Dong 1,400,000 Guizhou, Hunan provinces; Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region
Yao 1,400,000 Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region; Hunan, Yunnan, Guangdong provinces
Bai 1,100,000 Yunnan Province
Hani 1,100,000 N/A
Kazak 900,000 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Li 890,000 Guangdong, Guizhou provinces
Dai 840,000 Yunnan Province
Lisu 480,000 N/A
She 370,000 Fujian, Zhejiang provinces
Lahu 300,000 Yunnan Province
Va 300,000 N/A
Shui 290,000 Guizhou Province
Dongxiang 280,000 Gansu Province, Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Naxi 250,000 Yunnan Province
Tu 160,000 Qinghai Province
Kirgiz 114,000 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Qiang 100,000 Sichuan Province
Daur 95,000 Nei Menggu Autonomous Region; Heilongjiang Province
Jingpo 93,000 Yunnan Province
Mulao 90,000 Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region
Xibe 84,000 Liaoning Province; Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Salar 69,000 Qinghai, Gansu provinces
Bulang 58,000 Yunnan Province
Gelao 54,000 Guizhou Province
Maonan 38,000 Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region
Tajik 27,000 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Pumi 24,000 Yunnan Province
Nu 23,000 N/A
Achang 20,000 N/A
Ewenki 19,000 Nei Menggu Autonomous Region; Heilongjiang Province
Jing 13,000 Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region; Guizhou, Guangdong provinces
Benglong 12,000 Yunnan Province
Uzbek 12,000 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Jinuo 12,000 Yunnan Province
Yugur 11,000 Gansu Province
Baoan 9,000 N/A
Drung 4,600 Yunnan Province
Tartar 4,100 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Oroqen 4,100 Nei Menggu Autonomous Region; Heilongjiang Province
Russian 2,900 Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region
Gaoshan 1,700 Fujian, Guizhou provinces
Hezhe 1,500 Heilongjiang Province
Moinha 1,140 Xizang Autonomous Region
Lhoba 1,100 N/A
Other 800,000 Guizhou, Yunnan province



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