China Numbers

    Data visualization created by the China Institute

    March 28, 2019

     
    December 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of China’s Economic Reform, also known as the Opening of China, introduced by Deng Xiaoping. The growth of China in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), population, and even the size of some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as well as private enterprises is colossal and the numbers defining the magnitude of China are staggering.
     
    The data visualization, referred to as “China Numbers,” presents three key areas of China’s growth: GDP, population, and the size of large Chinese enterprises. Altogether, five data sets are included in the project: (1) Annual GDP compared to other countries; (2) City level GDP compared to countries; (3) Population of cities compared to countries; (4) Population of cities compared to other cities; and (5) The number of employees in large Chinese enterprises with equivalents to populations, personnel, and capacities.
     
    The visualization facilitates a clear understanding of key numbers in China’s growth as a snapshot of its current position. It highlights the East/West divide, not only in terms of the large economic gaps, but also in terms of what is not included in the data set. It illustrates the incongruous growth of Central and East China at the expense of the westernmost provinces and autonomous regions. It also shows that even though China has free and open markets, a large number of companies are still fully or partially held by the State.
     
    Finally, the numbers are often lost in other charts, are part of poorly constructed visualizations, or buried deeply in reports and papers, and so on. As such, the aim of “China Numbers” data visualization is simply to highlight numbers, putting them into something meaningful and easy to understand.

     


    GDP_2

    China Annual GDP Growth Compared to Countries

    China’s annual GDP data are extracted from the National Bureau of Statistics of China. GDP growth is calculated as a simple difference of nominal GDPs. GDP data for other countries are extracted from the World Bank, 2019. All GDP numbers (in millions) are expressed in current US dollars.


    GDP_1

    Chinese Cities Compared to Countries

    China’s GDP data in 2017 are extracted from the China City Statistical Yearbook 2017; 2017 GDP data for different countries are extracted from World Bank. All GDP numbers (in millions) are expressed in 2017 US dollars.


    Population_1

    Chinese Cities Compared to Countries

    China’s city level population data are extracted from the statistical bureau of the respective city. For cities in China, population refers to the total number of people living within the city regardless of resident registration (Hukou).


    Population_2

    Comparing Cities

    China’s city level population data are extracted from the statistical bureau for the respective city. For cities in China, population refers to the total number of people living within the city regardless of resident registration (Hukou). Other city populations refer to populations in the metropolitan area; data are mainly from the World Population Review, with additional data extracted from the United States Census Bureau, 2017.


    Corporations

    Chinese Companies in Numbers

    All data regarding employee numbers in Chinese companies are extracted from official company websites (employee figures vary between 2016 and 2018). City and country population data are extracted from the World Bank (population figures vary between 2016 and 2018). Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) data are extracted from the Government of Canada website. RCN data show 8,300 Regular Force and 3,600 Reserve as well as 3,800 civilian employees. Canada’s automotive industry direct employment data are extracted from the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer’s Association (CVMA). US Foreign Service employee data are extracted from the US Department of State website. Total student enrolment at the University of Alberta data are extracted from the University of Alberta (UofA) website. UofA data show 38,311 students from 148 countries, and 5,291 academic and administrative staff, 2016-2017. Canada’s total number of police officers data are extracted from Statistics Canada.


     

    Credit:

    Scott N. Romaniuk, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Sadiq Javer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Liang Ma, Research Assistant
    Genevieve Ongaro, Design and Communications Specialist