China: A Land of Numbers
"The most of this...the oldest of those...the biggest of that..."
Conversations about China can be both overwhelming and dizzyingly littered with superlatives. When I was living there I was bowled over on a daily basis by the discovery of some new and almost unfathomable fact. My regular amazement at the country I was living in is one of the many things I miss now I've returned from China.
Here is a little summary of China by numbers:
● China has 1.357 billion people (19% of the world's population; nearly three times more than the EU).
● An estimated 350 million fewer people are born due to China's one child policy.
● 120 boys are born for every 100 girls (effect of one child policy).
● China has a lower population density than the UK and Germany.
● 30,000,000 Chinese people live in caves (traditional dwellings that are perfectly inhabitable and enjoy satellite TV).
● In 1973, China sent 10 million Chinese women to America to boost U.S. population.
● China has 5 million military servicemen.
● China has 54 million Christians (more than Italy). Sunday service attendance is higher in China than in all of Europe combined.
● There are 56 distinct ethnicities in China but 93% of the population is of the Han ethnicity.
● China farms more pigs (446 million) than the next 43 pork producing countries combined.
● 50,000 cigarettes are smoked every second in China.
● China's GDP is 59.6% of the size of USA's (IMF, 2014).
● China's GDP is predicted to overtake the USA's in 2019 (The Economist).
● China's economy has grown at an average of 9.8% annually for 35 years.
● In last 35 years the amount of GDP generated by privately owned firms (rather than state owned) has grown from 0% to 70%.
● China used more cement from 2011 to 2013 than America used in the entire 20th century.
● There are now 70,000 miles of railway in China (10,000 of which are highspeed with a top speed of 311mph).
● The highest train route in the world (5,072m) runs from Qinghai province to Lhasa in Tibet.
● A new skyscraper is completed every five days.
● There are currently 630 million internet users in China.
Burgeoning Luxury Market
● China has the world's fastest growing 5* hotel industry.
● China has more Mandarin Orientals, Banyan Trees and Shangri-Las than any other country.
● Aman Resorts recently opened Amandayan in Lijiang and plans are quietly afoot for Shanghai.
● China has 47 UNESCO World Heritage sites (2nd only to Italy with 50).
● With a record 107 million outbound Chinese tourists in 2014, China's luxury industry has a vast and demanding market that it is growing to satisfy.
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