Beijing people, language, and religion

According to the reports of the official Chinese Government statistics agency, Beijing in 2010 had a population of over 19.6 million, and it is estimated that the number increased in 2015, reaching even up to 21.7 million. In last decades, dramatic economic development was followed by dramatic population growth. In a matter of years, Beijing population increased in millions and it will continue to grow at the same pace. Population grows not just because of newborns, but because of thousands of rural population that come to Beijing from all over the China every year. Although there are hundreds of thousands foreign tourists on any day you will not see them often, because the vast majority of tourist in Beijing (and China in general) are domestic tourists.

Regarding the ethnic groups in Beijing, the major one is Han Chinese (95.69%) and two other important groups are the Manchu (1.84%) and the Hui (1.74%).

Beijing is a diverse city in every aspect, including the religious. There are thousands of religious monuments across Beijing, and each believer can find a place to worship. The major religions are Taoism and Buddhism, though Islam (1.76% in 2000) and Christianity (0.78% in 2009), both Catholic and Orthodox are also present.

Not many people in Beijing speak English and communication with most of the locals is possible only if you have written in Chinese name of the places you are interested with. Taxi drivers rarely speak English, and the staff speaks English just in restaurants which are often visited by foreign tourists. The situation is different with those places which are visited mainly by locals and tourists from China. Official and transportation signs are usually written in both, Chinese and English language. As part of an extensive preparation for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games metro stations and signs are labeled in English, so it is easy to use Beijing metro even if you don’t know Chinese.