Seniors Over 65: 8.1% (male 51,774,115/female 56,764,042) (2009 est.)
Male to female ratio: 106 males per 100 females.
Birth rate: 14 per 1,000 people.
Life expectancy at birth: 71.61 for males and 75.52 for females.
Infant mortality rate: 20.25 per 1,000 live births.
Official language: Mandarin.
Other principal lanuages: Yue, Wu, Hakka, Xiang, Gan, Minbei, Minnan.
Principal Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean.
Religious affiliations: 32.63% Nonreligous (423,171,608), 32.18% Chinese folk-religion (417,282,934), 13.55% Buddhist (175,740,415), 7.6% Atheist (98,528,711), 7.76 % Christian (100,561,557), 4.3% Ethnoreligionist (55,583,113), and 1.57% Muslim (20,304,332). Less than 1% Taoist, New-religionist, Hindu, Baha’i, Spiritist, Jew, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Confucianist, and other.
Education: Compulsory from 7-17 years of age.
Literacy rate: 90.9%.
Currency: Renminbi (Yuan).
GDP per capita: US $6,000.
National GDP: US $7.973 trillion (2008 est.)
Major Industries: Iron and steel, textiles and apparel, machine building, armaments, cement.
Chief crops: Grain, rice, cotton, potatoes, tea.
Electricity production: (1998) 1.16 tillion kWh.
TV Sets: 247 per 1,000 people.
Radios: 178 per 1,000 people.
Telephones: 108,807,000 main lines.
Daily newspaper circulation: 23 per 1,000 people.
Government type: Communist Party-led state.
Head of state: President Hu Jintao.
Head of government: Premier Wen Jianao.
International organization memberships: United Nations (UN) and Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation Group (APEC).
Historical Background: Archeology has found evidence of existing Neolithic culture, dating back 5000 years. More sophisticated culture developed under the Shang Dynasty from 1500 BC-1000 BC. For the next 3,000 years China was ruled by a succession of Dynasties and Kingdoms. As the 20th century began, China was weakened by famine, civil unrest, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, China became a communist nation and aligned itself with the Soviet Union.
Trends and Social Issues
Understandings of the trends and social issues of a particular country should always take into consideration the opinions of persons within the country. The Center for Youth Studies is looking for contributors from each country to add to our appreciation and understanding of China’s culture, potential, trends and critical issues. China is often covered in the world news. Frequently, its political maneuverings make international headlines, as well as its economic practices and world leadership. China is the largest country in the world and thus enjoys massive global influence. The world press has identified China with numerous human rights violations, especially towards women and religion. Due to the size of China, however, one can assume that the Chinese approach to such issues is not as uniform and simple as it may seem. We hope to provide a variety of perspectives on such issues, as we further develop our relationships with our Chinese contacts.
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Turner, B. (2000). The World Today: Essential Facts in an Ever Changing World 2000. New York, NY: St. Marten’s Press.
McGeveran, Jr., W. (Ed.). (2001). The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Mahwah, NJ: World Almanac Books.