Home to almost one-fifth of the world’s population, China borders 14 countries and has the third-largest land area of any country in the world.

  • Population: 1,377,064,900
  • Life Expectancy: 75 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 92%
  • School Enrollment: 99%
  • Land Mass: 3,705,407 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 95%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 14/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 5,740

Facts about China

Economic Development

China has the largest population and the second-largest economy in the world; still, 29.8 percent of the population lives on under $2 a day, representing around 387 million people.

Child Protection

Relationships between parents and their children are often weakened as rural parents leave their children for urban work. These left-behind children are known as migrant children, and there is estimated to be about 58 million of them.

Disaster Response

Due to recent natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, and earthquakes, 12 million people have been displaced. This has also caused an estimated economic loss of $93.64 billion.

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Progress in China

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • Demonstrating Christ’s love through our actions, we worked among the children and families of the community to promote peace and justice and encourage understanding.

  • To protect children from disease, we built clean water systems, organized hygiene education, and trained community health volunteers on maternal and child health and nutrition. We also helped rural communities organize emergency medical plans so injured children can get to the hospital.

  • Children enjoyed better learning environments as a result of our school improvement projects, educational enrichment programs, and teachers' training on child-focused teaching methods. Through education campaigns, parents and grandparents were encouraged to support children in their studies and to become more engaged with schools.

  • Children with disabilities, who are among the most marginalized in rural areas, were assisted with therapeutic services to help them attend school and integrate into society. We also held awareness campaigns on the rights of children with disabilities or special needs, especially the right to an education.

  • We partnered with local agencies to offer safety classes in an effort to reduce drowning deaths, traffic accidents, and other safety issues that impact children.

  • Boys and girls participated in our children's clubs, where they learned to value and care for other people and had opportunities to speak up on issues that affect their lives.

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    World Vision in China Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of China to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 2,800 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in China:

    • During the multiple earthquakes in 2013, World Vision responded by providing temporary living and food for those affected.
    • World Vision works to build clean water systems in communities affected by poverty and educate residents on personal hygiene habits.
    • Our teams also help children with special needs better integrate into society by improving community or institutional rehabilitation and raising public awareness and knowledge of disabilities.

    World Vision History in China

    A 1947 trip to China awakened Dr. Bob Pierce, who founded World Vision three years later, to humanitarian needs around the world. Since then, some major accomplishments in the country include:

    • Helping people in Hong Kong affected by Typhoon Wanda in 1962.
    • Distributing relief supplies to survivors of massive floods in 1981 and 1991.
    • Providing food, medicine, temporary shelter, clothing, blankets, and the rehabilitation of houses and public buildings after the 1988 Yunnan earthquake.
    • Offering health education, training opportunities, orphan care, and the construction of water systems in the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Home to almost one-fifth of the world’s population, China borders 14 countries and has the third-largest land area of any country in the world.

    China’s terrain varies from mountains, high plateaus, and deserts in the west to plains, deltas, and hills in the east. The diverse climate ranges from tropical in the south to subarctic in the north.

    Natural resources include coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, aluminum, zinc, and uranium. China also has the world’s largest potential for hydropower.

    Most of China’s population is Han Chinese, while 55 other ethnic groups make up the remainder. There are eight major languages and hundreds of dialects.

    About 70 percent of people work in agriculture, growing rice, wheat, tea, and a variety of other crops. Many farming families struggle to grow even enough food to feed their children and rarely have a surplus to sell for other needs.

    Families are very important in China. Children are expected to care for their aging parents. Most families have only one child.


    The earliest Chinese settlements date to around 5000 B.C. in the Yellow River Basin. Feudal states — often at war with one another — did not unite until late 200 B.C. with the construction of the Great Wall. China remained mostly isolated from other countries until the 1850s when the West gained trading power and the Port of Hong Kong fell under British rule.

    Ongoing internal battles for control kept China in a state of civil war until communism gained power in the 1940s. The Mao regime proclaimed the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

    Economic reforms in the 1970s increased consumer prices and improved the standard of living. Over the next decade, the population’s growing disagreement with country leadership led to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

    China regained Hong Kong and joined the World Trade Organization in the 1990s. In August 2008, China hosted the 29th Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

    Natural disasters have marked the past few years: a severe snowstorm and numerous large earthquakes since 2008.

    Prayer Requests for China

    • Please pray for leaders at all levels, that they will be good stewards of resources when natural disasters occur.
    • Pray also for strength for World Vision’s local Christian staff as they stand firm in their faith.