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About China

People

Population Growth | Ethnic Minorities

With some 1.3 billion inhabitants which is almost a fifth of the planet's population, China is definitely the world's most populous country. Despite the vast land area, three-quarters of the population is crowded into the eastern coast of the country which is only one-fifth of the country's land area. Eastern China is densely packed: more than 100 cities have over 1 million residents each, including the major population centers of Shanghai, Beijing, /tianjin, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Nanjng. Although recent economic expansion has led to the rapid growth of urban areas, about 70%of China's people still live in rural areas. And there is currently a floating population of more than 100 million drifting in and out of China's major cities in search of better jobs. Yet the government takes the means of residence permits which known as Hukou to curb migration and enhance the control of the social problems therefore arised.

[ Population Growth ]

After founding the People's Republic in 1949, Chairman Mao promoted Stalin's "the more, the merrier" approach. Women who gave birth to five or more children were honored as "Revolutionary Mothers" and awarded government subsidies. Unlike the severely underpopulated Soviet Union,k China already had more than half a billion inhabitants. These ill-advised policies, coupled with improvements in health care and food production, caused the population to swell quickly out of control. Ever since, the immense population has placed enormous strains on resources and advancements in the standard of living. Since the 1980s, the government has adopted a series of population control measures, limiting couples in cities to one child and rural families to two. Even at the current natural growth rate of only 1.04%, the number of babies born every year exceeds the entire population of Australia. Most Chinese expert have said China can comfortably support a population of only 800 million, a major reason for the great emphasis China has placed on birth control.

[ Ethnic Minorities ]

China is a multicultural nation consisting of 56 ethnic groups. In the long course of historical development, all the nationalities have joined in the effort to creat the great culture that China represents.

Apart from the Han nationality, the other 55 ethnic groups , with a total lof more than 96.5 million people, constitute roughly 8.04% of the total population. Those with more than one million people are: Zhuang, Hui, Uighur, Yi, Miao, Manchu, Tibetan, Mongolian, Tujia, Bouyei, Korean, Dong, Yao, Bai and Hani.

The constitution guarantees all non-Han groups certain national rights and privileges. And they enjoy special government benefits, such as exemption from the on-child policy, lower academic test score requirments for secondary school entry, tax breaks, and government subsidies. In the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping's liberalization policies give full recognition of minority cultures and religions.

Now the minority nationalities, with mutual influence on tach other in the fields of economy, , politics and culture and close ties with the Han people, have developed communities of their own which are full of cultural peculiarities.