Chinese People And China's Population

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Chinese People And China's Population

China is the most populous country on earth. The 2000 census showed that around 1.265 billion people live on the Chinese mainland.

Although most Chinese still live in rural areas, China's cities are growing rapidly as people move from rural areas to cities, seeking better economic opportunities. About 36 percent of China's population now lives in urban areas. About 64 percent live in rural areas. Most of the rural residents are involved in agriculture.

Of the total population, 93 percent are Han Chinese. These are the people whom non-Chinese often consider to be the Chinese Chinese.

However, China is an ethnically diverse country consisting of 55 ethnic groups. The non-Han ethnic groups are distributed throughout China's territory. Most of the non-Han ethnic groups differ fundamentally from the Han in their customs, traditions, languages, and cultures.

The non-Han minorities contribute very substantially to China's social fabric. Nearly all are well integrated into China's national unity.

Famine was once a serious, periodic problem in Chinese history. With China's historic famines having come to an end, China's birthrate reached its peak during the 1970s.

China's population was already very large. Most of China is agriculturally unproductive, so there is no surplus agricultural land. The high rate of population growth was impeding the country's socio-economic development. It was also stretching China's natural resources to their limits, and interfering with environmental protection.

In 1978, the Chinese government set out to slow the increase of China's population. Family planning has been carried out throughout China. This effort combines governmental guidance with the people's voluntary compliance. The basic rights of every married couple are respected and protected. China's strict birth control policy is intended to provide the best future China for every Chinese baby. Out of respect for the non-Han ethnic minorities, they are exempted from the stricter policies and are allowed to have more children than the Han.