What are the key facts about China?

China Lanterns (photo by Dainis Matisons - CC-BY)

China is the most populous country in the world, and a rapidly developing one. It is the fourth largest country by land area, after Russia, Canada, and the United States.


China has a land area of 9,596,960 square kilometers, including enclosed water of 270,550 square kilometers. Its land bounday totals 22,117 kilometers, and it shares borders with Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Vietnam, some of which are controversial.

China includes the Special Economic Areas of Hong Kong and Macau.

The coastline is 14,500 kilometers.


Being a large country, China straddles a range of climate zones. A good summary is available at Ruth Lor Malloy’s China Climate page.


The estimated population in July 2008 was 1,330,044,544 people, with a median age of 33.6 years, of whom 51.4% are male. Life expectancy at birth is 73.18 years (71.37 for males, 75.18 for females).


CIA World Factbook

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