Special Report: Inside China - A country in figures

ETHNICITY AND RELIGION

by James Curtis, World Business

Although China's population comprises 56 ethnic groups, 92% of the population of mainland China belongs to the Han group and constitutes about 19% of the world's population. There are about 55 other ethnic groups in China, customarily referred to as the 'national minorities'. For a long time, the Chinese government discouraged religious practice, officially because it was atheist but in reality because it feared an alternative credo to communism. With the gradual liberalisation under Deng Xiaoping, the constitution was amended to allow more freedom. The main three traditional religions are Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, but the country also has 20 million Muslims, 10 million Protestants and 4 million Catholics.

FINANCIAL INDICATORS

For each indicator, the data for all 31 regions was ranked in size order and then plotted:

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