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The Social Demography of China’s Minority Nationalities

  • Dudley L. PostonJr.
  • Qian Xiong
  • Yu-ting Chang
  • Danielle Xiaodan Deng
  • Dan Yin
  • Marilyn Venegas
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 4)

Abstract

According to data from the 2010 Census of the People’s Republic of China, China’s 55 minority nationalities numbered over 111 million people, comprising almost 8.4 % of China’s total population. By comparison, in 2010 the minority populations of the United States comprised 36.3 % of the country’s population, numbering just under 112 million people. Thus there are about as many minorities in China as there are in the United States, even though China’s percentage share is one-fifth that of the United States. If the minorities of China were a single country, it would be the 12th most populous in the world, outnumbered only by India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Mexico, and the Han population of China. Much of the research on Chinese minority populations conducted by Chinese and non-Chinese scholars pertains to specific minority groups and often tends to be more ethnodemographic than quantitative. These studies provide us with detailed social histories of specific minority groups and classifications according to their predominant forms of sustenance organization, marriage norms and patterns, religious and cultural orientations, and linguistic practices. This chapter examines the demographic and socioeconomic composition of China’s 55 minority populations. Using data from China’s 2010 census, we have developed characteristics variables for each of these groups dealing with age, dependency, fertility, education and literacy, occupation, residential segregation, and geographic differentiation. After a brief review of the history of Han-minority relations, we discuss and describe the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the minorities. Also, since around one-fifth of China’s minorities are Muslim, we present at the end of our chapter a brief discussion of the Muslims of China.

Keywords

Minority Group Minority Population Dependency Ratio Residential Segregation Geographic Differentiation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dudley L. PostonJr.
    • 1
  • Qian Xiong
    • 1
  • Yu-ting Chang
    • 1
  • Danielle Xiaodan Deng
    • 1
  • Dan Yin
    • 1
  • Marilyn Venegas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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