Population:1982 census reported total population of
1,008,180,738; official estimate at end of 1986 nearly 1.1 billion
with 1.4 percent annual rate of increase. Urban population
officially estimated at 382 million by end of 1985, or 37 percent
of total. About 94 percent of population lives on approximately 36
percent of land.
Education:In 1985, about 96 percent of primary-school-age
children attended school as compared with about 20 percent before
1949. About 136 million students enrolled in more than 832,000
primary schools. Secondary-level middle schools divided into junior
and senior stages; majority of schools at lower level. About 48.6
million students attended some 104,800 secondary-level
institutions. Technical education emphasized. Intense competition
for admission to more than 1,000 colleges and universities; about
1.7 million students in various higher educational institutions.
Beijing and Qinghua universities and more than 100 other key
universities most sought after by college entrants.
Ethnic Minorities: As of 1987 China recognized 55
minority nationalities, numbering about 70 million persons,
concentrated in northwest and southwest. Not largest, but most
important politically, Tibetans (Zang nationality) and various
Turkic-speaking groups constituted majorities in Xizang (Tibet) and
Xinjiang-Uygur autonomous regions, respectively.
Health:Level of health and medical care improving. System
of national, provincial-level, and local facilities in urban and
rural areas plus network of industrial and state-enterprise
hospitals. Traditional and Western medicine both practiced. Average
life expectancy of sixty-nine years in 1985. Many once-widespread
epidemic diseases now under control or eradicated.
Data as of July 1987