The central portion of China Proper is subtropical. This large region includes the southern portion of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang River) and the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing. Alluvial processes give this area excellent agricultural land. Its climate is warm and humid in the summers with mild winters; monsoons create well-defined summer rainy seasons. Tropical China lies in the extreme south and includes Hainan Island and the small islands that neighbor it. Annual temperatures are higher here than in the subtropical region and rainfall amounts brought by the summer monsoons are at times very substantial. This area is characterized by low mountains and hills.
* The 2010 census showed the population of the eastern region grew to 37.98 percent from 35.57 percent in 2000. The other regions -- central, western and northeastern China -- all saw their populations decline as a percentage of China's total population.
|Historical population of China|
|Source:Census of China|
There are two major river systems that provide fresh water to the vast agricultural regions of the central part of China Proper. The Yellow River (Huang He River) is named after the light-colored silt that washes into the river. It flows from the Tibetan highlands through the North China Plain into the Yellow Sea. Dams, canals, and irrigation projects along the river provide water for extensive agricultural operations. Crops of wheat, sorghum, corn, and soybeans are common with vegetables, fruit, and tobacco grown in smaller plots. The North China Plain has to grow enough food to feed its one thousand people per square mile average density. This plain does not usually produce a food surplus because of the high demand from the large population of the region. Beijing borders the North China Plain. Its nearest port, Tianjin, continues to expand and grow, creating an economic center of industrial activity that relies on the peripheral regions for food and raw materials. Cotton is an example of a key industrial crop grown here.
While the percentage of China's population over the age of 65 may not be as large as that of Japan, South Korea, or various European countries, China's enormous overall population (roughly one out of every five people on Earth) means that the total number of older people living in China is and will be much larger than in other countries.