China's Population & Ethnic Groups

China has a huge population of over one billion, and it supports 21% of the world's population with 9% of the world's cultivable land. With a territory of about 9,634,057 square kilometers, Chinese people scatter and live every inches of this land. In China, an idiom says although Chinese people may eat the same kind of rice, they can grow up into different kinds of people finally. Due to geographic limitation and other reasons, China is inhabited with decades of nationalities.

China  ethnic groups
 

Population

According to governmental statistics, by the end of 2017, China has a population of about 1,390,000,000 in mainland, excluding the population in Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong and overseas Chinese. It has a newly-born population of about 17,230,000 and a death population of about 9,860,000. In term of population structure,  the population of people aged 0-15 is about 247,190,000, accounting for 17.8% of the total population, the number of people aged 16-59 amounts to about 901,990,000, accounting for about 64.9 % of the total, and the population of people aged 60 and above is about 240,900,000, taking up 17.3% of the total. In term of urban and rural structure, the urban population is about 813,470,000, and takes up about 58.52% of the total population. In 2017, Hong Kong has a population of about 7,400,000, Macau has a population of about 653,000, and Taiwan has a population of about 23,1600,000.
 


Population Policy & Population Control

Before the implement of the one-child polity, every couple could have as many children as they want. As a result, China population entered in to a boom period, which brings demographic dividend to economic development. In a long time after opening to the world, labor-intensive industries are one of the main types to develop economy, like processing industry and textile and fashion industry. In 1980, Chinese mainland implemented a family planning policy or one-child polity due to population pressure and poor economy. According to the policy,  a couple should have only one child, if they have a second child, they are fined for a certain amount of money. But this policy is not strictly carried out in some regions, especial in rural areas and minority areas. For this policy, the growth of population has slowed.

In 2016, due to aging of population and shortage of labor, China mainland implemented a two-child policy, and specified  that a couple could have two children. To this policy, though people welcome it, they have different opinions. Some deem that they won’t have a second child, because of too much economic pressure from housing and education. Some think it’s very good news to them, and they will have a second child.

 

Overseas Chinese

There is a population of over 50 millions of overseas Chinese, who are people of Chinese birth or of Chinese descent living in other countries, and overseas Chinese has various nationalities, like the Han. Every continent has  overseas Chinese, and Asia has the biggest population of overseas Chinese, mainly in Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and  Vietnam. Those countries have a population of overseas Chinese over one million. In other continents, countries with a big population of overseas Chinese are America, Canada, Australia,  South Korea, Japan, France, Unite Kingdom, Russia, Peru,  etc. These countries are also mainly countries where Chinese are inclined to immigrant  or study overseas. Due to a large population of overseas Chinese all over the world, a growing of population of foreigners know more about China, Chinese culture, China's economy and others.

 

Ethnic Groups

Usually, we say that China has 56 ethnic groups, but in fact, China has more ethnic groups. 56 ethnic groups are identified and confirmed by the central government, and there are over 730 thousand of people whose ethnic status haven’t been identified and confirmed.  The 56 ethnic groups have a comparably big population, some ethnic groups not in the 56 ethnic groups have a very small population. In the 56 ethnic groups, Han nationality is the biggest ethnic group, and other ethnic groups are also called ethnic minorities. Ethnic groups do not live in only one place, and they are in all over the China. Thousands of years ago, people move from one place to another because of war, disasters like drought and flood, or others. Since the opening to the world, and China completely dedicates itself to develop economy, the mobility of population has accelerated. Now, almost in every city, there are various ethnic groups living together. But still there are some regions where one nationality in compact communities, like the Zhuang in Guangxi, the Tibetan in Tibet, the Ulghur in Xinjiang, the Mongolian in Inner Mongolia,  and the Hui in Ningxia.


ethnic-groups-map


Of the people enumerated in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and servicemen of the mainland of China, 1,159.40 millions of people or 91.59 percent are of Han nationality, and 106.43 millions of people or 8.41 percent are of various ethnic minorities. Among all ethnic minorities, there are 18 ethnic groups with a population over one million respectively, and they are the Mongol, Hui, Tibetan, Ulghur, Miao, Zhuang, Dong, Yao, Bai, ect. The Zhuang nationality is the biggest ethnic minority with a population over 16 million. Some ethnic minorities have a population less than ten thousand. Learn more about Chinese ethnic groups festivals by transfer to the page Ethnic Group Festivals in China.
 


Ethnic Policy in China

China is a unified multi-ethnic country. “some 56 ethnic groups have been identified and confirmed by the central government”. Full equality among ethnic groups. Full equality among ethnic groups is specified by the constitution law, and it is a cornerstone of ethnic policy in China. It tells that every ethnic groups has equal political status, legal economic, cultural and social equality, and they are equal before the law and enjoy the same rights and fulfill the same obligations. Second, ethnic minorities enjoy the rights to protect and develop their own cultures, including their spoken and written languages. For further information about ethnic policy in China, please click PRC State Council White Paper, China's Ethnic Policy And Common Prosperity And Development Of All Ethnic Groups, Sept. 27, 2009.
 


Contemporay Generations' Life Pattern in China
 

People in their 70-80s

Enjoy respects in a very big family. This generation was mainly born in the Mao’s time, they may have several siblings and several daughters and sons. During holiday time, their daughters and sons would come back home  and stay with them to celebrate the holiday together in traditional ways.
 

People in their 50-70s

Enjoy their retire life. Their retire life is supported  by the state welfare system and the gain pensions monthly for their daily expense. In the case that people are covered by the welfare system, their later life is supported by their families or by themselves. For most people,  their savings are rarely kept to themselves and used to travel the world, but  contribute to the purchase of their children’ s new house. In recent years, there is a growing number of people in 50-70s who are inclined to go to nursing homes and spend their later life there.
 

People in their 30-50s

Major working force in China. They work hard and support their family, spending money mainly in children’s education, and car and house purchasing and planning to save enough money to have a higher quality of retire life. They have high requirements about their life and consider  social status, cars, houses, wealthy and luxury holiday aboard as  symbols for having a good life.
 

People in their 20-30s

Single child generation. Creative, vigorous and dynamic. They value an interesting and fantastic life, like to travel and make friends with others. For job's need, they are armed themselves knowledge and various skills.
 

People in their 0-20s

They are in a period of receiving education in schools and have fun with their families and friends. They may have another sibling due to the newly released two-child policy.
 


Major Habits of Chinese Ethnic Minority Groups

Ethnic Group
Major Areas of Distribution
Achang
Yunnan
Bai
Yunnan, Guizhou
Bao'an
Gansu
Bouyei
Guizhou
Bulang
Yunnan
Dai
Yunnan
Daur
Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang
De'ang
Yunnan
Dong
Guizhou, Hunan, Guangxi
Dongxiang
Gansu, Xinjiang
Drung
Yunnan
Ewenki
Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang
Hani
Yunnan
Hezhen
Heilongjiang
Hui
Ningxia, Gansu, Henan, Hebei, Qinghai, Shandong, Yunnan, Xinjiang, Anhui, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Shaanxi, Beijing, Tianjin
Gaoshan
Taiwan (population not counted), Fujian
Gelo
Guizhou, Guangxi
Jing
Guangxi
Jingpo
Yunnan
Jino
Yunnan
Kazak
Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai
Kirgiz
Xinjiang, Heilongjiang
Korean
Jilin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang
Lahu
Yunnan
Li
Hainan
Lisu
Yunnan, Sichuan
Loba
Tibet
Manchu
Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Beijing, Inner Mongolia
Maonan
Guangxi
Miao
Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hainan, Hubei
Mongba
Tibet
Mongolian
Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Qinghai
Mulam
Guangxi
Naxi
Yannan, Sichuan
Nu
Yunnan
Oroqen
Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang
Ozbek
Xinjiang
Pumi
Yunnan
Qiang
Sichuan
Russian
Xinjiang
Salar
Qinghai, Gansu
She
Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong
Shui
Guizhou, Guangxi
Tajik
Xinjiang
Tartar
Xinjiang
Tibetan
Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, Yunan
Tu
Qinghai, Gansu
Tujia
Hunnan, Hubei
Uygur
Xinjiang
Va
Yunnan
Xibo
Xinjiang, Liaoning, Jilin
Yao
Guangxi, Hunan, Ynnan, Guangdong, Guizhou
Yi
Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi
Yugu
Gansu
Zhuang
Guangxi, Yunnan, Guangdong, Guizhou
Data Source from: www.c-c-c.org

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