China, with more than 1.2 billion people, is the most populous country in the world. Overall population density of the country is somewhat over 110 people per square kilometer, which is only about one-third that of Japan and less than many other countries in Asia and in Europe. Regional variations, however, are dramatic as over 90 percent of the Chinese population live on less than 40 percent of the land.
China, like all other large states, is multi-ethnic. The Han people, however, form the large majority, with about 94 percent of the population. While former Chinese governments traditionally acknowledged the Han, Manchu, Mongol, Turkish, and Tibetan ethnic groups, the current Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups, including the Han. The Han majority speak Chinese, but most of the minorities speak other languages, falling into 15 main language families.