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Introduction & Key Facts

China: Facts and Figures

This brief introductory article will help you wrap your head around some of China’s basic facts and figures. You can find info on the population, climate, religions, GDP, and more in the following list:

Country name: People's Republic of China

Government type: Communist state

Area (km²): 9,596,960

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in the south to subarctic in the north

Capital: Beijing            

Population: 1.357 billion (2013 estimate)

Population density: 145/km²

Major urban areas: Shanghai (20.208 million); Beijing (15.594 million); Guangzhou (10.849 million); Shenzhen (10.63 million); Chongqing (9.977 million); Wuhan (9.158 million) (2011 estimates)

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1% (2010 estimates)

note: the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups

Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages

note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)

Religions: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2% (2010 estimates)

note: officially atheist

Gross domestic product: 16.149 trillion USD (PPP); 9.469 trillion USD (nominal) (2013 estimates)

GDP per capita: 11,868 USD (PPP); 6,959 USD (nominal) (2013 estimates)

Unemployment rate: 4.1% (2013 estimate)

Mercer Cost of Living Index 2014: Shanghai (10), Beijing (11), and Shenzhen (17)

Human Development Index: 0.719; rank: 91 (2014 estimate)

Currency: Renminbi (yuan) (CNY)

Time zone: UTC + 08:00        

Country code: +86

Emergency numbers: 120 (ambulance), 119 (fire), 110 (police)

Voltage: 220V / 50HZ

Recommended vaccinations: routine vaccines, hepatitis A, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis (if you will be spending time in rural areas), rabies, yellow fever (if you are coming from a country with risk of the disease)

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