8 Facts and Figures about China; Mind-Blowing Numbers

by | April 16, 2014

8 Facts and Figures about China; Mind-Blowing Numbers

by | April 16, 2014

Big, bigger, biggest. A phrase which has been most commonly linked to the United States. The biggest economy in the world is rapidly being outnumbered in every aspect by the former biggest economy China.  Forgotten by many, but for a major part of the last two millennia, the Chinese had the largest economy of the world. While witnessing the renaissance of the Chinese economy, it is interesting to put some of these crunching numbers in perspective.

1.       China consumes 53% of the world’s cement and 48% of the world’s iron ore

These numbers indicate the construction drift of the Chinese over the past years. Building cities at a time and changing landscapes with unimaginable speed. Hardly anyone will recognize cities like Beijing or Shanghai after staying away for about 3 years. However this building drift has a downside:

2.       China has 64 million vacant homes, including entire cities that are empty

According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 64 million houses in China are currently vacant. To understand the magnitude of vacant houses: the citizens of the U.K. could all move to China and have a house of their own, still leaving 1 million houses empty.

3.       By 2025, China will have built enough skyscrapers to fill a New York sized city, 10 times

Expressed in numbers this means that 5 million buildings combined offer 40 billion square meters of floor space. If all this space would be used to create 100 square meter apartments, it would create space for 400 million families. Easily enough space for the 317 million Americans. Of these buildings 50.000 could be skyscrapers, enough to fill New York 10 times. But how would China be able to feed all these supposedly new U.K. and U.S. habitants?

4.       There are more pigs in China than the next 43 countries combined

A staggering total of 446 million pigs in 2008, more than one pig for each of the hypothetic new UK and US citizens. Slight problem is the consumption of pigs by the Chinese themselves. The Chinese consume 1.7 million pigs on a daily bases. Number 5 on the list would be followed with huge benefit to the environment in case the U.K. and the U.S. would move to China:

5.       85% of artificial Christmas trees are made in China, as are 80% of toys

It indicates the vastness of China as the factory of the world. Almost every product produced comes from Mainland China. You can imagine the sheer size of the logistics needed to carry all these products to the rest of the world. But the Chinese do not only produce, they also consume a lot.

6.       Chinese consume 50,000 cigarettes per second

Smoking is an integral part of the Chinese (business) culture. Although it is officially prohibited in a lot of public places, Chinese still smoke literally everywhere, anytime. Chances are that a part of these cigarettes are being bought online.

7.       242 Million Chinese consumers are expected to shop online and spend $ 265 Billion in 2013

Trust in online shopping has always been high. Especially clothes are being bought online, 68% of all purchases are clothing. In 2012 the percentage of purchases made via a mobile phone was at 12%. 40% of the population is buying online. This high online consumption really adds to the GDP.

8.       Chinese GDP could overtake the U.S. in less than 15 years

Deutsche Bank’s Chief Economist for Greater China, Jun Ma, stated that by the early 2020s, China could overtake the U.S. in terms of nominal GDP. The GDP has grown 7 times as fast as the U.S. over the past decade. China recorded a 316% growth whereas the U.S. grew 43%.