Officially known as the People's Republic of China (PRC), this third-largest country in the world is home to nearly 1.4 billion people! Learn all about what makes China unique and cool with these fast facts.
Basic Facts About China
China is a huge country filled with rural towns and bustling cities like the capital Beijing.
- The national anthem is called "March of the Volunteers."
- The national animal of China is the giant panda.
- Rare animals only found in China include the golden monkey, David's deer, and the lancelet fish.
- China has changed faster in the last 20 years than any other country.
- The last Chinese Dynasty was overthrown in 1912.
- Money in China is called renminbi, which means "people's money."
- About 21 percent of the world's population lives in China.
- Over 90 percent of the population are Han.
- From the late 1970s to 2016, PRC had a one-child policy limiting the number of kids a couple could have.
Cool Chinese Geography Facts
China is home to many plants, animals, and places that date far back into the history of the world.
- The gingko tree of China is the oldest tree in the world.
- Only Russia and Canada are bigger than China.
- China borders 14 other countries including Mongolia, Pakistan, and Laos.
- About one-third of China's land is made up of mountain ranges.
- Some of the most destructive earthquakes in the world occurred in China.
- Ice City, or the town of Harbin, freezes over for four months each winter and hosts the biggest ice festival in the world.
- China boasts the biggest range of temperatures of any country on the planet with lows down to negative 40 degrees and highs up to 40 degrees Celsius.
- The world's biggest hydroelectric station and dam is found on the Yangtze River.
- About one-fifth of China is covered by deserts.
Awesome Facts About Chinese Culture
- Calligraphy, an artistic form of writing, was invented in China.
- Many modern beliefs are based on the teachings of Kongfuzi, also known as Confucius.
- Chinese inventions include paper, gunpowder, and the magnetic compass.
- Ancient Chinese culture dates back more than 5,000 years.
- China is home to more than 56 different ethnic groups.
- Foquan Temple Buddha in Zhaocun Township is the largest Buddha statue in the world, measuring 128 meters tall.
- Over 800 million native people speak Mandarin, one of the official languages of China.
- Silk was made almost exclusively in China until the year 300.
- Three official holidays in China are called "Golden Weeks" where people get seven vacation days so they can gather with family.
- Family is viewed as a unit rather than several individual people.
Fun Facts About Chinese Symbols
In China, symbols are not only used for their main languages and art, but they are also part of daily life.
- The national flag is red, symbolizing the Han people, with one large yellow star representing the Communist party and four small yellow stars for each social class.
- China doesn't have a national flower.
- National Day is celebrated on October 1st to commemorate the day the country became the PRC.
- Only people familiar with the 2,000 to 3,000 Chinese characters is considered functionally literate.
- 2018 is the Year of the Dog as were 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006.
- A person's characteristics are determined by the zodiac animal of their birth year and the element that goes with it.
- When a plum blossom, pine, and bamboo are drawn together they are called "The Three Friends of Winter" and symbolize longevity.
- The dragon is the most powerful symbol for good fortune.
- Goldfish are a trendy symbol for wealth or abundance.
Interesting Chinese Food Facts
The Chinese food you can get for dinner represents some of what people eat in China, but is made more to suit American tastes. Check out these authentic dishes and drinks.
- Tea was invented by accident by Emperor Shennong in 2737 BC.
- To get the most nutrients the Chinese believe you should drink tea hot.
- China produces more rice than any other country in the world.
- Northerners eat more wheat while southerners eat more rice.
- There are roughly 300 million farmers in China.
- Chinese cabbage is the most common vegetable eaten in the country.
- China produces over 30 percent of the world's tomatoes.
- The Chinese prefer to eat fresh foods and don't each much canned or frozen food.
- More than 45 billion pairs of chopsticks are used in the country every year.
- There is now a disposable chopsticks tax to encourage people to try reusable versions.
Famous People From China
If you've ever watched TV, movies, or sports you've probably come across a famous person who was born in China.
- Bruce Lee (Martial Artist and Actor)
- Yao Ming (NBA player)
- Wengie (YouTuber)
- Jackie Chan (Martial Artist and Actor)
- Jet Li (Martial Artist and Actor)
- Katherine Paterson (Children's Author - Bridge to Terabithia)
- Li Na (Tennis player)
- Yi Jianlian (NBA player)
- I. M. Pei (Architect)
Travel to the Far East
While China may seem worlds away, you can learn all about the culture there with these fun facts. Look for books, movies, and games that are popular in China to get a better idea how kids like you have fun in another country.