According to statistics (the official statistics body of China) for 2021, 1,406,778,200 people live in China. The country ranks first in the world in terms of population, it is home to 18.35% of the total population of people on Earth. The population is projected to increase by 2,177,656 by the end of 2021. The country has a natural population growth.
The sex ratio index is 1.08. The male population is 51.9% of the total population, and the female population is 48.1%. The average life expectancy is 72.7 years for men and 76.9 years for women.
In the beginning of 2021, the population is divided into age groups in the following ratio:
- under 15 (17.6%)
- from 15 to 65 years (73.6%)
- over 64 years old (8,9%)
Racial composition and religion
Officially, there are 56 nationalities in China, more than 90% of which are Han (an ethnic self-name originating from the Han Empire), the rest of the peoples are considered national minorities. The national division is based on linguistic and geographical characteristics. Chinese names usually consist of two or three syllables; the last name comes before the first name, and usually consists of one syllable.
The largest peoples of China are:
- Zhuans (1.26%),
- Hui (0.79%),
- Manchus (0.78%),
- Uyghurs (0.75%),
- Miao (0.7%),
- Tibetans (0.47%),
- Mongols (0.45%).
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China guarantees the right of citizens to freedom of religion. Contacts with India, the Arab world, and Europe have historically contributed to religious diversity in China.
The most spread religious movements in China are Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. An individual's belief in one of the three religions does not exclude one’s belief in the others.
The following religions are common in the People's Republic of China:
- Folk religions – Taoism and Confucianism (21.9 %)
- Buddhism (18.2 %)
- Christianity (5.1 %)
- Islam (1.8 %)
- Other (0.8 %)
More than half of the population (52.2 %) does not profess any religion, or is atheist.
The official language of the People's Republic of China is Chinese. It is a collection of very different dialects. The differences between the dialects of oral speech are so great that residents of different parts of the country often do not understand each other. In this regard, the official written and oral standard in the People's Republic of China is the language putonghua, literally – "general / ordinary speech". People in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau use goyu, the equivalent of putonghua with minimal differences, and people in Singapore and Malaysia use huayu. About 70% of Han people speak the northern dialect mandarin, or one of its variants. National minorities speak their national languages, and their languages are recognized as State languages within the autonomous regions.
Chinese does not have alphabet. Written speech is made of hieroglyphs. Each hieroglyph, unlike alphabetic writing, is assigned a non-phonetic value. In China, there are two main forms of the hieroglyphic writing system – the old wenyan and the modern baihua.