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Demographics of the People's Republic of China redirects here. For the articles on the demographics of the special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, see demographics of Hong Kong and demographics of Macau.

Demographics of China, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

China Provincial Migration

Economic reforms have triggered internal migrations within China. Click on the image for more information.


Population pyramid for China

The demographics of mainland China are characterized by a large population with a relatively small youth cohort which is a result of People's Republic of China (PRC)'s one-child policy that was implemented in mainland China since 1979 which has helped to save from an extra 400 million births which would have placed the population at 1,713,973,713.

Population: 1,313,973,713 (July 2006 est.)


Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.8% (male 145,461,833; female 128,445,739)
15-64 years: 71.4% (male 482,439,115; female 455,960,489)
65 years and over: 7.7% (male 48,562,635; female 53,103,902) (2006 est.)

Median age:
total: 32.7 years
male: 32.3 years
female: 33.2 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.59% (2006 est.)

Birth rate: 13.25 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate: 6.97 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

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 (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 23.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.58 years
male: 70.89 years
female: 74.46 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Population policyEdit

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 groupsEdit

Main article: List of 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), Uyghur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Tujia (5.75 million), Mongols (5 million), Tibetan (5 million), Buyi (3 million), and Korean (2 million).


Main article: Religion in China

The majority of Chinese are non-religious. According to the World Desk Reference by D K Publishing, the non-religious in China constitute about 59% of the population, or about 767 million people. However, religion plays a significant part in the life of some Chinese, especially the traditional beliefs of Confucianism and Taoism. About 33% of the population follow a mixture of beliefs usually referred to by statisticians as "Traditional Beliefs" or just "Other".

About 6% of Chinese people are avowed Buddhists. Mahayana Buddhism is most widely practiced. With an estimated 100 million adherents, it is the largest religious group in the country. Theravada Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism are practiced largely by ethnic minorities along the geographic fringes of the Chinese mainland. Official figures indicate there are 25 million (mostly Sunni) Muslims, 4 million Roman Catholics, and 10 million Protestants; estimates by outside followers of these beliefs for all three demographic groups are much higher.

The PRC Constitution affirms religious toleration subject to several important restrictions. The government places limits on religious practice outside officially recognized organizations. Only two Christian organizationsa Catholic church without ties to Rome and the "Three-Self-Patriotic" Protestant churchare sanctioned by the PRC Government. Unauthorized churches have sprung up in many parts of the country, and unofficial religious practice is flourishing. In some regions authorities have tried to control activities of these unregistered churches. In other regions registered and unregistered groups are treated similarly by authorities, and congregates worship in both types of churches.

In 1999, the PRC government banned the Falun Gong spiritual movement and has since implemented a crackdown on the movement. Falun Gong claims that hundreds of thousands of its practitioners are in re-education through labor camps; thousands are in prisons or psychiatric facilities. More than 2800 practitioners have reportedly died in prison as a result of mistreatment and torture as of February 2006.

For distribution of religions in minority nationalities, see List of Chinese ethnic groups.


Main articles: Chinese language, Languages of China

Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, pronunciation based on the Beijing dialect), Mandarin dialects, Wu (Shanghainese), Yue (Cantonese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see ethnic groups entry).

There are seven major mutually unintelligible Chinese dialects which are considered by some to be different Chinese languages, and by some others to be dialects of the Chinese language. Each of these dialects has many sub-dialects. Over 70% of the Han ethnic group are native speakers of the Mandarin group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China. The rest, concentrated in south and southeast China, speak one of the six other major Chinese dialects. In addition to the local dialect, nearly all also speak Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua) which pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, which inself is one of the Mandarin group of dialects, and is the language of instruction in all schools and is used for formal and official purposes. Non-Chinese languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and other Turkic languages (in Xinjiang), and Korean (in the northeast).

The Pinyin system of romanizationEdit

On January 1, 1979, the PRC Government officially adopted the hanyu pinyin system for spelling Chinese names and places in mainland china in Roman letters. A system of romanization invented by the Chinese, pinyin has long been widely used in mainland China on street and commercial signs as well as in elementary Chinese textbooks as an aid in learning Chinese characters. Variations of pinyin also are used as the written forms of several minority languages.

Pinyin replaced other conventional spellings in mainland China's English-language publications. The U.S. Government and United Nations also adopted the pinyin system for all names of people and places in mainland China. For example, the capital of the PRC is spelled "Beijing" rather than "Peking."


according to the official numbers:
definition: age 15 and over
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2002)

See alsoEdit


fr:Démographie de la Chine he:דמוגרפיה של הרפובליקה העממית של סין pt:Demografia da República Popular da China ru:Население Китая zh:中华人民共和国人口

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