Quantitative assessments on the Chinese population have always been difficult, due to the insufficiency of official statistical data. After the 1953 census and the 1957 partial survey, no census was made known, although there is news of a probable survey in 1964, and in 1972 an official publication appeared with statistics relating to two years earlier. Various statistical evaluation hypotheses have been formulated for the measurement of Chinese demographic dynamics, among which some would lead to very high figures, in the presence of a constant growth rate. More acceptable is the hypothesis of a decreasing rate, which is estimated at around 2% per annum for 1958 and which would drop to 1.25% in 1973, lower than that of United Nations publications but closer to partial indications from Chinese sources. In this way, in the absence of appreciable migratory movements, there would be a population of over 800 million in 1974. But since the official indications have never made reference to this figure so far, it is possible to support the hypothesis that the birth rate has decreased significantly. very rapid and mortality vice versa has not undergone an equally rapid containment. In this case, natural growth should be even lower than the rate of 1% per year, with a total population that in 1974 should reach around 750 million.
The distribution of the population in the 28 first degree territorial divisions shows a greater concentration in the flat and hilly districts of eastern and southern Manchuria, as shown in tab. 2.
The Chinese government’s demographic policy was at first very cautious, both for the implications of Marxist ideology and for the prolific habits of the population. A moderate birth control campaign was quickly abandoned in 1958, when the enthusiasm for expansion created by the productive campaign of the Great Leap Forward made containment of the birth rate less important. However, the birth control policy resumed after the “three difficult years” (1959-61), in which the country’s resources proved very fragile. Family planning is now well established in urbanized areas, where marriages are celebrated after the age recommended by the authorities (30 years for the man, 25 for the woman) and there are few children; in the countryside the behavior is still close to tradition, even if marriages between very young people so widespread in the past are rare. It should also be added that abortion and sterilization are practiced freely. The problem of excessive population growth has also directed towards solutions other than that of population control. The first of these solutions is the increase of production, in order to guarantee not only the maintenance of the current level but also the improvement of the diet and consumer goods. The second solution is the one widespread in all overpopulated countries with a modest degree of development, that is, emigration. But emigration abroad, a phenomenon of great proportions for about a century, it came to a complete stop with the closure of the borders and due to the repercussions of political isolation on the movement of people. It is not in the interest of the Chinese economy to deprive itself of the labor force that is stimulated to contribute by personal effort to the collective improvement of the country; on the contrary, we want to avoid that such a type of easing of demographic pressure leads, in the long term, to those negative effects widespread in all emigration countries. The third possible and widely applied solution is internal rebalancing, with the displacement of the population from the highly congested areas of the east to the new development areas of the west and north-east, hitherto sparsely populated.
The relationship between rural population and urban population has always seen the absolute dominance of the countryside, which absorbs about 85% of the total (about 580-590 million residents). In the urban population (about 110-120 million), residents in centers with more than 2000 residents are officially included, therefore also centers of a rural nature, where a large part of the residents are linked to agricultural activities. Recent urban development has not only increased the population of large metropolises, but has promoted many smaller cities, created entirely new urban centers, transformed villages into cities. Medium and large cities are concentrated in some particularly favored areas. In the north and north-east there are over a third of the above urban centers, while about a quarter are found in the lower and middle Yangtze Basins. Pioneer centers are founded or strengthened mainly in the peripheral districts, but the urban network has tighter meshes and closer nodes in densely populated areas. These are therefore the lowland regions, in particular along the routes traveled by some main rivers, such as the Liao in southern Manchuria, the Yellow River, the Yangtze, the Sichiang in the south. Here the propulsion of recent industrial development has been added to commercial agriculture, which gravitates to urban outlet markets. in particular along the routes traveled by some main rivers, such as the Liao in southern Manchuria, the Yellow River, the Yangtze, the Sichiang in the south. Here the propulsion of recent industrial development has been added to commercial agriculture, which gravitates to urban outlet markets. in particular along the routes traveled by some main rivers, such as the Liao in southern Manchuria, the Yellow River, the Yangtze, the Sichiang in the south. Here the propulsion of recent industrial development has been added to commercial agriculture, which gravitates to urban outlet markets.
Beijing is among the most populous cities: its population growth has been very rapid since it was re-designated as the capital in 1949 and has become the second largest city in the state after Shanghai. In ten years the population of its constituency has doubled, which has been extended to over 17,000 km 2and includes about 7.6 million residents, a majority of whom reside in the urban center and a minority in rural municipalities. The external aspect of the city has changed, modernizing itself with the construction of large modern buildings and wide streets, as well as with the expansion towards a working-class suburb full of popular blocks of flats. The pace of Pekingese life has also changed, due to the industrial functions assumed alongside the cultural and political ones. Cotton mills and other textile industries are one of the most important industrial branches; also the steel industry, with a large steel mill that recently reached the capacity of 1 million tons per year, the mechanical and precision industries, have large-scale plants, and so do the paper mills and the printing press.
Shanghai owes its growth to the leading role it has taken on the Chinese economy over the past twenty years. One third of the population (about 11 million residents) is settled in the rural area of the municipality, where decentralized industrial centers have also sprung up. The economic functions of the metropolis have now shifted from mainly commercial ones to those of a mainly industrial center, although the two activities were (and still are) present at the same time. The industries of Shanghai cover a very broad span that encompasses almost all manufacturing activities. The textile industry and especially the cotton industry, the metalworking industry, specialized in shipbuilding and heavy machinery, the chemical industries and many others that produce various consumer goods (food,
According to PETSINCLUDE, 95% of the Chinese population is made up of Han, the Chinese-speaking citizens of the state. This homogeneity, however, is undermined by the diversity of languages spoken, with a prevalent group speaking the Beijing language and another in the south speaking Cantonese, as well as other smaller groups. Since ideographic writing is identical for all, it serves to maintain linguistic unity and is understood as phonetic transcription (pinyin system), nowadays adopted for special uses, find a strong obstacle to its diffusion. The ethnic minorities who speak languages other than Chinese gather about 50 million people, belonging to 51 groups scattered mainly in the peripheral areas of the state; the Chuang, the Uighurs, the Tibetans, the Lolos are the largest groups.