HUMAN GEOGRAPHY – 3a(i) China & its People
China is home to one fifth of the world’s population! It is also one of the world’s oldest civilizations so there is a lot of fascinating Geography to learn about China.
The population of China is 1.38 billion people (2016), with most living in towns and cities. China’s capital city is Beijing which is home to 21 million people (which is over two and a half times the size of London or twenty one times larger than Birmingham!). Beijing is not the largest city in China though! Shangai has a population of 24.5 million people.
As China is such a large country it has borders with a huge 14 other nations. It’s longest shared border is with Nepal (1,236km) and it’s shortest is with Macau (only 3km.).
Whilst we are focussing on the Geography if China, it is true to say that it’s history has played a key role in defining what modern day China is like. For many centuries, China has been one of the most advanced civilisations but isolated from the rest of the world.
The Xia and Shang dynasties are considered as the oldest Chinese civilisations. Over the centuries many Emperors ruled the country. The last Emperor of China, the last ruler of the Qing dynasty, was Pu Yi. In the 20th century the world was shaken by bloody wars and from 1937-1945 Japan occupied large industrial areas in China and took over the Chinese government. Since 1949 the Communist Party of China has ruled the country.
China is not only home to the most people of any country on the planet, it is also the second largest country in area (behind Russia). China has the longest land boarder in the world, which measures 22,117km.
The climate of China is dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons This leads to large temperature differences between winter and summer. The Yangtze River is the longest river in China, and the third longest in the world. It plays a large role in the history, culture and economy of the country. China has a huge variety of animal species living alongside its huge population. 34,687 species of plants and animals live there, making it the third most biodiverse country in the world. The Yangtze River is home to some of the most endangered species in China, including the Chinese alligator, the finless porpoise, the Chinese paddlefish and the Yangtze River dolphin (which may already be extinct). Despite having a rich ecosystem China is suffering from severe environmental deterioration and pollution. To the north west of China is the Gobi desert, which is the fifth largest desert in the world.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in China
China can be found in Eastern Asia, and with a population of over 1.381 billion (2016) it is the country in the world with the most people living there.
China has the largest population of a country in the world. The large amount of people has bought it many opportunities which have helped it’s development and turned it into a global superpower (only behind the USA in total wealth creation per year). The rapidly growing population has posed many problems and issues for China in recent decades.
The population is not spread out evenly in China, with the majority of the population living towards the eastern coast. A small proportion of the population live in the Himalayas, to the south west of China, or in the Gobi desert.
China, like all other large states, is multi-ethnic. The Han people form the large majority, with about 94% of the population. The current Chinese government officially recognises 56 ethnic groups. The Han majority speak Chinese, but most of the minorities speak other languages, falling into 15 main language families. What issues do you think this causes for China as a country? The government of China has no official religion.
China’s population was growing rapidly so the government introduced a One Child Policy to try and manage the population growth.
When learning about a country there are some key statistics you should learn.
- With over 1.3 billion people and counting, the China population accounts for about 1/6 of the world’s population.
- In 1979 China introduced a policy which only allowed a couple to have one child.
- As of now, the population of Beijing is around the 20-million mark, making it one of the largest cities in the world.
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