Fun facts and surprising numbers help explain China's 40 years of reform and opening-up

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/9 18:18:39

Map of China

China's reform and opening-up policy has brought enormous changes to every aspect of the country. Aside from data on the rapid economic growth in the past four decades, statistics from other fields, especially religion and population, also reflect changes in the Chinese society.

Residents go to the Id Kah Mosque in Kashi, Xinjiang on June 19. Photo: VCG

Increasing number of mosques

Across China, there are 144,000 religious venues registered to local religious affair administrations, including 35,000 mosques.

Source: the State Council Information Office, the Youth Daily

A senior resident stares at the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet on August 24, 2014. Photo:VCG

Longer life in Tibet

The average life span in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region was 36 years in the 1950s and it was expected to reach 70 at the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20). 

Source: The family planning commission in Tibet

Volunteers pass donations to girls of a family living in poverty of the Miao ethnic minority group in Guiyang, Guizhou, on September 4. Photo: VCG

Poverty alleviation work in Guizhou 

In 1978, China had over 770 million underprivileged people, with over half of its population living under the poverty threshold. In the last 40 years, China has pulled more than 740 million people out of poverty. About 19 million people shook off poverty every year in China. In 2017, China had only 30 million people in poverty.

Southwest China's Guizhou Province was known as the poorest province in China with a GDP per capita of only 175 yuan in 1978. The number has increased to 33,200 yuan ($4,860) in 2016.

Source: National Bureau of Statistics

A resident in Haikou rides past the construction site of a real estate project. As real estate projects have mushroomed in Hainan in recent years, the local government has taken measures to stabilize the market. Photo:VCG

Hainan's development

Hainan Province has enjoyed a great dividends from reform and opening-up. Its GDP grew fivefold in the first 10 years of the reform and opening-up, rising from 1978's 1.6 billion yuan to 1988's 7.7 billion yuan. After the establishment of the Hainan Special Economic Zone in 1988, Hainan's GDP has seen growth rocket to 404.5 billion yuan in 2016.

Source: National Bureau of Statistics

Two residents use self-service equipment to apply for an exit-entry permit for Hong Kong and Macao in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, on May 24. Photo: VCG

Number of tourists from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong and Macao

In the early years of China's reform and opening-up, as a trial policy, residents of Guangdong Province were allowed to go to Hong Kong to visit families and relatives. In 1984, the Chinese State Council approved people from the mainland to go to Hong Kong and Macao to visit family. After the return of Hong Kong and Macao in the late 1990s, Hong Kong and Macao saw 2.36 million tourists from the mainland in 1997. Twenty years later, the number has swelled by almost 20 times.

Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board

Li Bing (center), an anchorperson for a TV program of Hunan Television, has photos taken with his fans when hosting a forum in Chenzhou, Central China's Hunan Province, on March 5. Photo: VCG

Radio and television industry in Hunan

Established in 2000, Golden Eagle Broadcasting System (GBS) is a media giant based in Central China's Hunan Province. Hunan TV, a representative channel under GBS, underwent an overall brand promotion campaign in 2006 and saw a revenue of 3 billion yuan in the same year. In 2017, GBS took in 18.3 billion yuan in revenue.

Source: Hunan Daily

A courier prepares packages before sending them to customers on November 14, 2017. More than 812 million packages needed to be delivered after "the Double 11 online shopping festival," an event which took place on November 11 and was promoted by Chinese e-commerce giants. Photo: VCG

E-commerce in Zhejiang

In 1999, Alibaba established its e-commerce platform in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, setting in motion China's booming e-commerce business. The next year, a total of 277 million yuan in transactions was made in China's e-commerce sector. A decade later, China saw 4 trillion yuan worth of e-commerce transactions. In 2017, the number reached 29.16 trillion yuan.

Source: National Bureau of Statistics

Kim Lee (center), wife of Crazy English founder Li Yang, poses during a divorce trial at the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing on February 3, 2013. The couple divorced and their case attracted nationwide attraction. Photo: IC

Divorce rate in Beijing

Almost half as many people got divorced as got married in Beijing in 2017. Some 10.63 million couples married and more than 4.37 million couples got divorced in the capital last year. In 1990, more than 9.5 million couples married while 800,000 divorced.

Source: Ministry of Civil Affairs

A mother holds her second child and accompanies her elder daughter to her first class of a new semester of the Primary School Affiliated to Shandong Normal University in Ji'nan on September 3. Photo: VCG

Birth rate in Shandong

East China's Shandong Province had the nation's highest birth rate in 2017, at 17.9 births per thousand people. The data was far below the birth rate of 33.9 per thousand people in 1971 just as China's one-child policy was announced, and only slightly more than the birth rate of 16.9 per thousand people in 1979 after the policy had time to take effect. In 2017, 1.74 million babies were born in Shandong. Of that number, some 1.16 million were the second child of their family, accounting for 13 percent of the number of the second children born in China in that year. 

Source: Shandong family planning commission


Newspaper headline: Success by numbers

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