China is a multinational state with more than 55 nationalities living on its territory. According to the 5th National Population Census (2000), there were 1267.4 million Chinese in China (91.6% of the total population). Among the ethnic groups, the most numerous (more than 1 million people) are the Zhuang, Hui, Uighurs, and (Zu), Miao, Manchus, Tibetans, Mongols, Tujia, Bui, Koreans, Dong, Yao, Bai, Hani (Aini), Kazakhs, give and li. National minorities, despite their small numbers, live on an area that occupies approx. 50-60% of the country’s area, mainly in Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang Uygur, Ningxia Hui and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regions, as well as in the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangdong, Hunan, Hebei, Hubei and Fujian.
According to Countryaah, the Chinese (Han) have their own spoken and written language – Chinese, which is used both in the country and abroad. Dialects are the main means of oral communication in China. The Chinese language consists of seven large dialect groups – Northern Chinese (Beijing dialect), Eastern Chinese (Shanghai dialect), Central Chinese (Hunan dialect), Southern Chinese (Guangdong dialect), Southeastern (Fujian dialect), the dialect of the Gan group (province Jiangxi) and a dialect of the Hakka group (Guangdong and Fujian). Phonetic differences are significant, but the main difficulties in communication arise from differences in vocabulary and grammar. The main means of communication is written Chinese, based on writing hieroglyphs. At first, there was a single written language for the whole country, Wenyan, based on the ancient Chinese language of the 4th c. BC—3rd c. AD, then there was a transition to a new literary language, Baihua, based on the dialects of Northern China in the 14th-16th centuries. After the formation of the People’s Republic of China, uniform norms of the state national language, Putonghua, were adopted, the basis of which are the northern dialects, the standard pronunciation is Beijing pronunciation, and the grammatical norm is the works of modern baihua. Chinese writing in the form of hieroglyphs conveys not the sound, but the meaning of the designated word, which is a convenient set of written means of communication and is a symbol of the linguistic unity of the country. The number of used hieroglyphs is steadily growing. If in the first Chinese dictionary “Showen zezi” (9th century) there were only 10 thousand characters, in the dictionary “Kangxi zidian” (18th century) – 45 thousand characters, then in the modern dictionary “Zhongwen da zidian” – 50 thousand characters. However, the total number of the most commonly used characters is approx. 7 thousand. To eliminate illiteracy, it is necessary to learn 1,500 characters for peasants and 2,000 characters for workers and employees, for those completing primary school (6 classes) – 3,500 characters. Before the formation of the PRC, in addition to the Hui, Manchu and She peoples who used the Chinese language, Mongols, Tibetans, Uighurs, Koreans, Kazakhs, Sibo, Dai, Uzbeks, Kirghiz, Tatars and Russians spoke and wrote their national language. After the formation of the People’s Republic of China, within the framework of the government program, written languages were created and systematized for 10 ethnic groups, including Zhuang, Bui, Miao, Dong, etc., the writing reform of the Uighurs, Kazakhs, Jingpo, Lahu and Tai was carried out. According to linguistic classification,
In terms of population, China ranks first in the world. According to the 5th National Population Census of 2000, the total population (excluding Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) was 1267.43 million people. Since the 3rd census in 1982, the total population has increased by 257.66 million people, the 4th census in 1990 – by 113.36 million people. During 1990-2000, the total population grew by 11.66%, the annual increase was 12.79 million people, or 1.07% per year.
During 1990-2000, the total number of Chinese (Han) increased by 116.92 million people. (or by 11.22%), and all national minorities – by 15.23 million people. (or by 16.7%). The population of the Manchus and Tujia grew especially rapidly. If in 1982 there were only 4.299 million Manchus, Tujia – 2.832 million people, then in 2000 – 10.68 million and 8.028 million people. respectively.
Over the past 20 years, there has been a significant decrease in the birth rate from 22.28% in 1982 to 12.86% in 2002. At the same time, mortality in these years remained almost at the same level – 6.9% in 1983 and 6.41% in 2002. The main decline in natural growth occurred in the 1990s. due to the rapid decline in the birth rate from 19.68% in 1991 to 12.86% in 2002. As a result, the natural increase in the population of China fell sharply from 15.68% in 1982 to 6.45% in 2002, and the total fertility rate decreased from 2,2 in 1989 to 1.8 in 1998. Child mortality in China is still at the level of developing countries – 31 people. per 1000 newborns (1998), although it has slightly decreased (37 people in 1989).
China is a male-dominated country. According to the 2000 census, there were 653.55 million men (51.63% of the population) and 612.28 million women (48.37%) in the country. In other words, the sex ratio in China is 106.74 to 100. The aging of the population continues as a result of many years of demographic policy aimed at limiting the birth rate. The proportion of the population aged 0–14 is declining, from 33.6% in 1982 to 22.8% in 2000; older people aged 65 and older – from 4.9 to 6.96%. The rural population still dominates in China, numbering 782.41 million people. (2002, 60.9% of the total population). As before, the proportion of the urban population, compared with most countries of the world, remains low – 39.1% (2002). The rate of urbanization in China in the 1980s-90s. were high enough. If in 1980 the total urban population was only 191.4 million people. (19.4% of the total population), in 1990 – 301.9 million people. (26.4%), then in 2000 – already 459.06 million people. (36.2%). There is a steady, albeit slow, increase in the average life expectancy in the country – from 67.9 years in 1985 to 71.4 years in 2000. At the same time, the retirement age for workers and employees in the 1980s-90s. was 60 years for men with a continuous service of 10 years and a total service of 25 years, women were entitled to a pension from the age of 50 (for employees – from 55 years) with a continuous service of 10 years and a total service of 20 years. For workers in difficult conditions (outdoors, in a hot shop, underground, engaged in particularly hard physical or hazardous work), the retirement age is set 5 years lower, but while maintaining the same years of experience as for the rest of the workers. According to the 2000 census, the total population with higher education was 45.71 million people, with complete secondary education (12 grades) – 141.09 million people, the number of graduates of secondary school of the 1st stage (9 grades) – 429, 89 million people, primary school (6 grades) – 451.91 million people. Compared with 1990, there has been a significant increase in the level of education of the population. From 1990 to 2000 for every 100 thousand people. the number of people with higher education increased from 1422 to 3611 people, with complete secondary education – from 8039 to 11146 people, who graduated from secondary school of the 1st stage (9 grades) – from 23344 to 33961 people. and slightly decreased the number of primary school graduates – from 37,057 to 35,701 people. The total number of the illiterate population was still quite high – 85.07 million people, although it was noticeably lower,
China is a country with various religious cults. Hui, Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kirghiz, Tatars, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Dongxiangs, Salars and Baoan profess Islam, while the religion of Tibetans, Mongols, Tai and Yugurs is Lamaism, which is one of the branches of Buddhism, some representatives of Miao and Yao are common Christianity, and among the majority of Daurs, Orochons and Evenks – shamanism. Some Chinese (Han) are adherents of Christianity or Buddhism, but most believers profess the traditional Chinese religion – Taoism.