China has the world largest population. By the end of 2010, there are 1.392 billion people (not including the population in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan province) in China, taking up one fifth of the world population. China is also one of the countries with relatively high population density in the world.
China has since ancient times been a united multi-ethnic country. After the foundation of People’s Republic of China, there are total 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the central government, the largest being the Han ethnic group.
The standard language in China is Mandarin Chinese, a universal language used by every ethnic group. The state council announced in February 6, 1956 that mandarin should be promoted and supplemented the concept of mandarin: Mandarin has Beijing pronunciation as its standard pronunciation, northern dialect as its basic dialect, and the typical modern vernacular Chinese as its grammatical standard.
In addition to mandarin there are 80 languages in this multinational and multilingual nation. Most minorities have their own languages. Even for Chinese itself, almost every region has its own dialect, which can be very different from each other. Local people talk in their own dialects while learn Mandarin at school.