Looking to impress your mates or win the next pub quiz? Brush up on your worldly knowledge, starting with these 36 interesting facts about China!
China has the largest population in the world; it’s home to a massive 1.393 billion (2018). That’s about 20% of the Earth’s population! Wow.
Due to China’s geography, there’s a noticeable uneven population distribution; 94% live in the eastern third of the country; with its mild coastal climate, Shandong province has more than 90 million people, whereas Tibet, with its harsh mountain plateau climate, has just 3 million people.
Over 35 million people still live in caves – amazing!
Flag of China
The capital of China is Beijing; it has an incredible population of 21.54 million (2018).
It’s been estimated that by 2020, China could have between 30-40 million men who cannot find wives.
Due to rapid westernisation and modernisation, China used more cement in 3 years (2011 to 2013) than the U.S. used in the entire 20th Century!
China builds a new skyscraper every five days. No wonder they use so much concrete – crazy!
It has an area of 3.7 million square miles (9.6 million square km) and occupies most of East Asia.
It’s the second largest country in the world, after Russia.
100 million people in China live on less than $1 per day!
The currency here is called the Renminbi – which literally translates to People’s Currency and is abbreviated to RMB. The most widespread international usage is yuan, which is abbreviated to CNY
The world’s first paper money was created in China 1,400 years ago – who knew?!
China has four of the world’s ten most polluted cities! This air pollution is a result of rapid industrial development.
This country is the largest producer and consumer of coal. Good news though, because it’s turning away from coal toward clean hydroelectric resources, such as the Three Gorges Dam!
In 2003 China became only the third nation (after Russia and the U.S.) to launch a manned spaceflight. The country launched a lunar orbiter in 2007 with the possibility of a manned mission to the Moon by 2020.
Forbidden City, Beijing, China
China has a varied industry consisting of iron, steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum and cement.
Agriculturally it produces rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, pork and fish.
It exports all sorts from machinery and equipment to textiles and clothing, footwear, toys, sporting goods and mineral fuels.
China overtook the USA as the world’s largest economy in 2014!
Facebook, Twitter and Google are all blocked in mainland China under the policy of internet censorship! Imagine that!
Oddly, the sunrise in China can be as late as 10am because the country joined its five time zones into a single one – how strange!
Terracotta Army, Xi’an, China
Now for some slightly odd Chinese facts…
Table tennis is China’s national sport.
We bet you didn’t know that 1 in every 3 socks you own were made in the district of Datang in Zhuji? This district is now known as ‘Sock City’!
Playstations are illegal in China… we wonder why?
A huge 45 billion chopsticks are used here every year! That’s a lot of chopsticks!
Ironically, the word ‘censorship’ is censored in China!
In 2013 a zoo in China angered visitors by trying to pass off a Tibetan Mastiff dog as a lion! Oh dear – let’s be honest, it was never going to work, was it?
Ice cream was invented in China around 2000BC. The first ice cream was soft milk and rice mixture packed in the snow. YUM.
China is widely accredited (for example, by FIFA President Sepp Blatter) with the invention of football in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC!
Superstition and numerology are prevalent in Chinese culture. For example, a 13th floor is often absent from hotels and commercial buildings whilst car number plates and phone numbers often lack the number four. Wonder if they walk under ladders?
Red is thought to be a lucky colour, and as such, Chinese woman traditionally marry in it. White, on the other hand, symbolises death.
Until her death in December 2012, 7ft 8in Yao Defen was the tallest woman in the world!
Foot binding (also known as ‘Lotus feet’), is the custom of applying painfully tight binding to the feet of young girls to prevent further growth. It came about around the 10th Century but was banned in the early twentieth century. Yikes.
Bonus facts about China:
To call your friends or family in China you’ll need to dial the international dialling code +86.
Built to protect China from its enemies and invaders, The Great Wall of China has also prevented the Chinese people from leaving! It’s now a World Heritage site.
Do you know any fun, strange or interesting facts about China that we’ve not mentioned? Share them here in the comments section below!