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II. Population

Total population: 6.18 million (2008).

Population growth rate: 1.431 percent for birth rate, 0.462 for death rate, and 0.969 percent for population natural increase (2008).

Life expectancy (average): 69 years


There are 1,829,700 people of the Hui ethnic group, accounting for 34.1 percent of Ningxia’s total population, or one-fifth of China’s Hui population. The Hans make up 65.36 percent of the population in the autonomous region. In addition, there are in Ningxia another 33 ethnic minority groups. Most of the Huis live in Tongxin, Guyuan, Xiji, Haiyuan, and Jingyuan counties as well as Wuzhong City and Lingwu County in the area irrigated with water diverted from the Huanghe River.


The attendance rate of school-age children in primary schools is 96.7 percent and that in junior high schools is over 60 percent. There are 37 vocational high schools. The non-illiterate rate of the young and middle-aged reaches 89.5 percent. In 1996, Ningxia was awarded an international illiteracy-elimination prize by the United Nations. A total of 4,487 students were enrolled in institutes of higher learning and special colleges. The number of students in colleges and universities reached 13,121, an increase of 1,609 students or 26.5 percent over the figure of 1998. There are 25 polytechnic schools with a student body of 16,370.

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