Which Country Has the Most People?

A busy road in Shanghai, China. China is the world's most populous country. Photo credit: TonyV3112 / Shutterstock.com.
A busy road in Shanghai, China. China is the world's most populous country. Photo credit: TonyV3112 / Shutterstock.com.

With a population of over 1.3 billion people, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the world’s most populous country. India and United States follow China at number 2 and 3 respectively.

The Population of China

The population of China has been rapidly growing over the years. Since the year 1979, the country has attempted to control the population through policy. The government introduced the “One Child Policy” to restrict the number of children to one per household. In 2016, the “Two Child Policy” replaced the one child policy to allow two children per household.

Where Does the Population of China Live?

Out of the total population of 1.3 billion, over 50% live in the urban areas of China. By the year 2012, there were over 260 million migrant workers in China who migrate to the city in search of work.

China has over 160 cities. Out of these, 7 cities have a population of over 10 million people each. These are known as the Mega cities. They are Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Chongqing. Other cities in China include Hefei, Suzhou, Tianchang, Yumen, Enping, Xinyi, Cen Xi, and Laibin.

What is the Capital of China?

The capital city of China is Beijing whereas the largest city is Shanghai. With a population of over 24 million people, Shanghai is classified as the most populous city in the world.

The Demographics of China

The inhabitants of China are known as Chinese. There are over 250 recognized languages in China. A large population of the Chinese people speak Mandarin. About 70% of the population are able to speak it. Other minority languages spoken in China include Kyrgyz, Zhuang, Miao, Wa, Manchu, Dong, and Korean.

There are 56 ethnic groups in China. The largest being the Han Chinese who constitute 91.1% of the total population of China. The other 55 groups are classified as ethnic minorities each constituting less than 2% of the total population. The ethnic minorities include Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Yi, Tujia, Korean, Mongol, Buyei, Miao, Tibetan, and Uyghur.

The government of PRC is officially atheist being governed by the Communist Party of China, an atheist institution that prohibits religion while in office. There are also other religious movements; Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism which form the “three teachings.”

The Geography of China

China is also the world’s 2nd largest state by land area. It covers approximately 3.7 million square kilometers. The country is divided into 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 4 municipalities. These are together known as “Mainland China”. There are a further 2 Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of Macau and Hong Kong. In exclusion of the SARs, China can be grouped into 6 regions of East China, North China, South Central China, Northeast China, Southwest China, and Northwest China.

The Economy of China

China is the second largest importer and the largest exporter of goods in the world. The army of China is the world’s largest standing army with over 2 million soldiers on active duty.

China is located in East Asia and is a major regional power within the entire Asian continent. China’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In 2016, it was categorized as the world’s 2nd largest economy by nominal GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Due to the rapid economic progress, China is regularly viewed as a potential new super power.


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