China By the Numbers

Data lovers rejoice: Harper’s Magazine recently posted the first 25 years of its Index online. The Index compiles unusual statistics and offbeat figures into a snapshot of modern life.

Beijing-based journalist, Tim Johnson, filtered the Sino-statistics from the archive.


12/07 — Number of the world’s five most valuable companies last year that were Chinese: 0 (Bloomberg News, NYC)

Number this year: 3 (Bloomberg News)

12/07 — Percentage change since 2000 in the value of China’s private security and surveillance industry: +265 (China Public Security Association, Shenzhen)

12/07 — Estimated percentage of the world’s male smokers who live in the United States and China, respectively: 3, 31 (American Cancer Society, Atlanta)

Estimated percentage of the world’s female smokers: 8, 7 (American Cancer Society)

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