Activity Post – China

This semester I will be focusing on China which sparks my interest due to its high population, its rural land to city diversity, and its high rates of pollution/low air quality. China also has high rates of Autoimmune conditions, which I am particularly interested in, which are more prevalent in women than men.

The total population in China is relatively 1.38 billion, with an average life expectancy of 75 years. 51.9 percent of the population lives in urban areas compared to rural areas; this number surprised me as I was expecting it to be much higher. Each year the urban population grows by about 1.9 percent, which seems quite high meaning that either there is a large shift between rural to urban areas or high birth rates.

The gross national income (PPP), or average wage in China is $9,210 – compared to America where it is $50,610. This number also surprised me because I know similar to America, China is a large capitalist country, so I would expect the richest rich to have a larger impact on the GNI. This being said this shows that there are many people living in poverty or earning low wages. Unfortunately, the statistic for the population living in poverty was not available.

Life expectancy for females is 103.5 percent higher than males but the literacy rate for females is only 95.1 percent of that of males. The prevalence of contraception use is quite high at 84.6 percent. Although this is great for preventing unwanted pregnancies, some forms of contraception such as birth control can often have unwanted long- term effects.

Youth literacy rates are nearly 100 percent for both boys and girls, as are enrolment rates for primary school which is surprisingly high, partially due to the low GNI.

The mortality rate for kids under 5 has significantly dropped since 1970 from 111 kids per 1,000 live births now down to around 14. Per capita the GDP annual growth rate has risen from 6.6 percent to 9.3 percent. The total fertility rate has decreased from an average of 5.5 births per woman to just 1.7 births.

Many of the statistics in disparities by residence were not available but one thing that surprised by was the difference between the use of improved sanitation facilities between rural and urban areas. Only 55.8 percent of rural facilities had improved sanitation compared to 74.1 percent in urban areas. This could be due to the distribution of wealth between rural and urban, where rural areas potentially not having the funds to maintain well cleaned facilities. In rural areas children under 5 were 3 times more likely to be underweight, but still this number was only 4.3 percent compared to 1.3 percent. These numbers seem very low, I am guessing that this is because nutrition is relatively good in China, especially in rural China where you would expect them to have access to lots of fresh food due to a high prevalence of farming.

There was no data available for disparities by household wealth.


“Statistics.” UNICEF, 31 Dec. 2013,

“Statistics.” UNICEF, 24 Dec. 2013,

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