Demographics of mainland China
Population: 1,298,847,624 (July 2004 est.)
0-14 years: 22.3% (male 153,401,051; female 135,812,993)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 469,328,664; female 443,248,860)
65 years and over: 7.5% (male 46,308,923; female 50,747,133) (2004 est.)
total: 31.8 years
male: 31.5 years
female: 32.2 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.57% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 12.98 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 6.92 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
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.)
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 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 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)
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), Uighur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Tujia (5.75 million), Mongolian (5 million), Tibetan (5 million), Buyi (3 million), and Korean (2 million).
Main article: Religion in China
It is important to keep in mind that 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 religiuous 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 18 million (mostly Sunni) Muslims, 4 million 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. Consistent with these restrictions, the PRC Government places restrictions on religious practice outside officially recognized organizations. Only two Christian organizations--a Catholic church without ties to Rome and the "Three-Self-Patriotic" Protestant church--are 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. Reliable reports indicate that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are in re-education through labor camps; hundreds are in prisons or psychiatric facilities. More than 200 practitioners reportedly have died in prison as a result of mistreatment and torture.
For distribution of religions in minority nationalities, see List of Chinese ethnic groups.
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry).
There are seven major Chinese dialects and many sub dialects which are considered part of the Chinese language. Mandarin (or Putonghua), the predominant dialect, is spoken by over 70% of the population. It is taught in all schools and is the medium of government. About two-thirds of the Han ethnic group are native speakers of Mandarin; the rest, concentrated in southwest and southeast China, speak one of the six other major Chinese dialects. Non-Chinese languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur and other Turkic languages (in Xinjiang), and Korean (in the northeast).
The Pinyin System of Romanization
On January 1, 1979, the PRC Government officially adopted the pinyin system for spelling Chinese names and places 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 also adopted the pinyin system for all names and places in mainland China. For example, the capital of the PRC is spelled "Beijing" rather than "Peking."
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
female: 86.5% (2002)
See also : People's Republic of China