Business Insider has recently made a video with some amazing facts about China. This most populous country in the world, and its 1.35 billion nationals consume copious amounts of food and resources, and here are some mind-blowing facts that prove this:
Only one time zone- Beijing Standard Time
China geographically spans five time zones and there were five time zones in use during the Republic of China (1912-1949). Since 1949 all of China has only had a single standard time.
30 Million people live in caves
Many people who live in caves live in Shaanxi province, where the region’s porous soil is particularly well-suited for easy digging. The caves, called ‘Yaodong’ in Chinese, are usually dug into the side of a mountain. Often rice paper or blankets hang from semicircular entrances to serve as makeshift doors. Swankier caves have several chambers and are secured with brick masonry. Some even have electricity and running water. Cave dweller’s find living in caves is energy efficient- caves are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A basic one-bedroom cave, without plumbing, rents for about $30 a month. On the other hand, a cave with three bedrooms and a bathroom might sell for $46,000!
Smoking kills 1 million Chinese each year
31% of the Chinese, or 320 million, smoke. This is nearly one-third of the world’s total. With this huge number of smokers, second-hand smoke is a major challenge for China. Exposure to second-hand smoke kills approximately 100,000 people every year.
Produces and uses 60% of the World’s cement
Cement production growth rates in China have slipped sharply in recent months. In August, cement production was up a scant 3% compared with the prior year. At any rate, the current growth rate of cement production is almost as low as it was when the global financial crisis hit in late 2008. And in this slowdown, it’s not just cement.
Railway lines could circle Earth- twice!
Rail transport is an important mode of long-distance transportation in the People’s Republic of China. As of 2013, the country has 103,144 km of railways, the third longest network in the world, including 11,028 km of high-speed rail (HSR)- the longest HSR network in the world. China’s railways are among the busiest in the world. In 2006, they carried a quarter of the world’s rail traffic volume on only 6% of the world’s tracks. In 2013, railways in China delivered 2.106 billion passenger trips, generating 1,059.56 billion passenger-kilometers and carried 3.967 billion tons of freight, generating 2,917.4 billion cargo tons-kilometers. Driven by need to increase freight capacity, the country budgeted $105.9 billion for railway investment in 2013, and has a long term plan to expand the network to 270,000 km by 2050.
20 Million trees cut per year to make chopsticks
China’s demand for disposable chopsticks has increased by nearly 30 billion in the past few years, and the need has become a burden on the country’s forests. While China plans to increase its forest coverage by 40 million hectares before 2020, increased production of disposable chopsticks could hinder that goal.
Home to 475 million pigs (half the world’s pigs), China has consumed 52 million tons of pork in 2012
Pork is the most popular meat in China as it forms more than three-fourths of total meat consumption in the country. The nation produced more than half the world’s total pork in 2012, while consumers spent around $183 billion consuming it. Moreover, demand for the meat is only rising as disposable incomes of more than 1.3 billion people in China are rising. It is also reflected in per capita consumption of meat in China that has increased more than four times since 1980 to almost 60 kilograms annually.
On the other hand, the availability of arable land is declining rapidly in China due to industrialization, which is limiting the supply of crops used as feed for livestock. Imported feed costs more and has led to higher costs of meat production in China than in the U.S. During 2012, China imported around 60% of the world’s total soybean produced, primarily to feed pigs.
Consumed 42.5 billion pack of instant noodles in 2011
This number accounts for nearly 43% of the total amount of the product that was devoured worldwide. In simple layman’s terms that means more than 100 million packs of instant noodles are eaten in China each day.
Produces 46% of the World’s coal
Chinese production and consumption of coal increased for the 13th consecutive year in 2012. China is by far the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, accounting for 46% of global coal production and 49% of global coal consumption- almost as much as the rest of the world combined. As a manufacturing country that has large electric power requirements, China’s coal consumption fuels its economic growth. The top 10 coal-producing countries supplied 90% of the world’s coal in 2012. China produced nearly four times as much coal as the second largest producer, the United States, which had a 12% share of global production. China has accounted for 69% of the 3.2 billion ton increase in global coal production over the past 10 years.
The Datang district produces 8 billion pairs of socks a year
The small town that produces 16 billion socks per year, started with only 1,000 residents and has turned into the world’s capital of socks, with a population of 60,000. The sock industry in Datang is representative of the economic model in Zhejiang Province, where towns and villages usually become clusters for a certain industry, such as shoes, stationery, T-shirts or pearls. In Datang’s case, its business has spread to 12 surrounding towns and villages. The production cluster, of which Datang is the center, supports over 100,000 employees.