🎁 'Tis the season to support public service journalism Donate Now
By The Numbers

Chinese New Year by the numbers

Tony Wagner Feb 18, 2015
2.8 billion

That’s how many trips the Chinese government estimates citizens will make for the holiday. Bloomberg points out that dwarfs Thanksgiving in the U.S., which AAA projected spurred just 46.3 million Americans to travel. More than six times that many will travel in China by train alone.

21.5 million

Speaking of the impressive number of Chinese citizens traveling for the holiday, larger metropolitan cities turn into ghost towns as people leave the city for the new year. For example, Beijing, which normally boasts a population of 21.5 million people, becomes largely empty. Over at Quartz, they’ve collected some of the haunting pictures taken by people who stayed in the city and are enjoying some peace and quiet.

942 stores

Fireworks are a big part of the Chinese New Year celebration, but they can also be hazardous to people’s health. Chinese officials worried that this year’s mild weather may mean that pollution from fireworks would stick around as opposed to being blown away. As reported by the IBT, the city of Beijing has allowed just 942 stores to sell fireworks this year, down at least 100 stores from last year.

260 million

The approximate number of migrant workers in China, according to the Washington Post. Those workers are flooding out of China’s biggest cities to return home to their families, and search engine Baidu is charting many of their trips. “It’s not just the world’s biggest human migration,” a company spokesman told the AP. “It’s the biggest mammalian migration.”

100 tons

That’s how many live lobsters will be exported from Canada to China each week at peak this year. Spurred by concerns about domestic seafood, Chinese demand for the luxury shellfish is so high that Canadian exporters are having trouble keeping up, the New York Times reported.

20 percent

The increase in C-section births one doctor reported in the lead up to the new year, mostly by mothers wanting to give birth in the current year of the horse instead of the upcoming year of the goat. The International Business Times reports that uptick is reflected throughout China and elsewhere in Asia. C-sections were up 35 percent in Singapore, for example.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.