Most people around the world may know only two or three things about China: it is the country with the most number of people, it is one of the world’s biggest countries, and Mandarin is the biggest language of the world. But these are not the only things that you should know about China.
With its vast culture, rich history as well as some wild stories and quirkiness, the country is more than the three things listed above, and it may have some things that will blow your mind. As China is a superpower nation, it’s taken for granted that you may find superlatives here in this gallery — but it doesn’t mean they’re less interesting! Here are cool and curious facts about China that you may not know.
Datang, a district in the city of Zhuji in China’s southeastern Zhejiang province, is booming due to its socks industry. As implied in the picture above, the town produces 8 billion pairs of socks each year — creating a pair of sock for every person on earth (as of 2011).
As you probably know, chopsticks are traditional eating utensils in East Asian countries such as China. The Chinese go through 80 billion pairs of chopsticks, all of them disposable. The number of pairs of chopsticks can cover the Tiananmen Square over 360 times.
Other than China, chopsticks are used in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Bhutan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Burma, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Of course, they can also be found in Asian restaurants around the world.
Around twenty million trees are cut yearly just for the chopsticks, which engenders environmental concerns as the chopstick industry is killing forests in China.
You may not or may not know, but many Chinese are quite fond of smoking. It’s no wonder that about 1 million Chinese die every year because of smoking. That’s more than the entire population of Fiji (with 858,038 people).
The World Health Organization estimates that smoking will kill 3 million Chinese people each year by 2050. That is not a statistic to seek to try to reach.
On the topic of consumption, China still comes out first. 1.35 billion Chinese consume about 42.5 billion packs of instant noodles year, as of 2011. Algeria has about 39.5 million people.
If you love pigs and/or pork, China will be your paradise! This is because the Chinese are the biggest consumers of pork. It’s not surprising that that 475 million pigs live in China. That’s nearly half of the total number of pigs on the entire earth!
Over 30 million people in China call caves their home, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. Many of them live in Shaanxi, a province located in the northeast of China. Chinese vice president Xi Jinping was exiled to Shaanxi during the Cultural Revolution, and reportedly he lived for seven years in a cave there.
China (together with India) is expected to triple its consumer spending by 2020. China’s consumer spending is projected to increase to $6.18 trillion yearly in 2020 (from $2.03 trillion in 2010), according to the global research firm Boston Consulting Group.
This is quite a tragic statistic: China has a rate of 22.2 deaths per 100,000 people due to suicide. The United States, on the other hand, has 10.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 persons.
The length of China’s operational railway spans 93,000 kilometers. The Earth, on the other hand, is 40,075 kilometers in circumference. This means the railway lines in China, if linked end to end, could travel around the earth at its circumference a little over two times
As of 2012, China has the 13th-largest proven natural gas reserves at an estimated 105.5 trillion cubic feet (or 3.1 trillion cubic meter). An Olympic-sized swimming pool, meanwhile, has a volume of 88,000 cubic feet (or 2.49 cubic meter).
This is something quite amazing and impressive. According to reporter Tom Philpott at Mother Jones magazine, “China’s total farm output, a broad measure of food churned out, has tripled since 1978. The ramp-up in livestock production in particular is even more dizzying—it rose by a factor of five.”
China is the third-largest country when it comes to proven coal reserves at 115 billion tons. A blue whale, the largest animal to exist, reportedly weighs 200 tons or more. China accounts for 49% or worldwide coal consumption and 46% worldwide coal production.
Hungary’s nominal GDP, on the other hand, is $124 billion (2014 figures).
At present, China is the world leader in cement production, producing 2,480 mil tons (2013 figures). China accounts for producing about 60% of the cement used across the globe.
Sorry, America, the International Monetary Fund declared China as the world’s largest economy. By 2014 figures, China accounts for 16.48% of the global purchasing power based on gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 16.28% in the United States.