Ethnic mosaic of modern China: an analysis of fertility and mortality data for the twelve largest ethnic minorities.

F. Yusuf*, M. Byrnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

China has a socially, culturally, religiously, and linguistically diverse population. 1982 and 1990 census data identify 58 ethnic groups varying in population size from a few thousand to more than 15 million people. The authors examine and discuss fertility and mortality data for the twelve largest groups, each with populations of two million or more, and compare their findings with data for the Han majority and the total population of China. Analysis indicates overall higher rates of population growth in the twelve ethnic minorities than in the total population of China. This trend is due more to fertility differentials than to mortality differentials between the groups and the Han. Except for the Man and Hui people, the age structure of the minority groups was generally more youthful, while the Weiwuer and Zang are noted for their comparatively high fertility and mortality rates. There is no indication that religion is a determinant of demographic behavior among these groups. In closing, the authors note that, compared to the Han, the minority groups have been less affected by national family planning activities and current social and economic development. While family planning programs need to be targeted to ethnic minorities in China, programs to improve health, education, and economic conditions will also go far in reducing population growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-46
Number of pages22
JournalAsia-Pacific population journal / United Nations
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994

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