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Map: China’s Provinces Rival Countries in Population Size

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Map: China

Chart: China’s Provinces Rival Countries in Population Size

The very mention of China triggers both awe and anxiety in the mainstream media.

With the globe’s largest GDP (PPP) at $23.12 trillion, China is indisputably a close contender for the title of world’s largest economic superpower along with the United States.

But what makes this possible in the first place? The countryโ€™s economic clout arguably stems from its human capital: a 1.4 billion-strong population.

A Force to be Reckoned With

Each of Chinaโ€™s 33 distinct regions is home to a population size on par with entire countries:

Chinese ProvincePopulation (millions)Comparable CountriesPopulation (millions)
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Anhui62๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France64.5
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Beijing21.7๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland, ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden, ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway20.7
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Chongqing30.5๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia31.7
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Fujian38.7๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ซ Afghanistan34.6
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Gansu26.1๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ช Yemen29.1
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guangdong110๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Philippines103.2
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guangxi48.4๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia48.7
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guizhou35.5๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Morocco34.5
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Hainan9.1๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria8.7
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Hebei74.7๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand69
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Heilongjiang38๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ Iraq37.9
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Henan95.3๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt90.2
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong7.3๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Jamaica, ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica7.7
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Hubei58.8๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea51.2
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Hunan68.2๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom65.6
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Jiangsu80๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Turkey79.8
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Jiangxi45.9๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina43.6
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Jilin27.3๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ Ghana27.6
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Liaoning43.8๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain46.4
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ด Macau0.61๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช Montenegro0.62
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Inner Mongolia25.2๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark, ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg, ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands23.3
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Ningxia6.7๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ป El Salvador6.3
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Qinghai5.9๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore5.6
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shaanxi38.1๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland38
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shandong99.5๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam92.7
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shanghai24.2๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Romania, ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia24.5
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shanxi36.8๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada36.2
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Sichuan82.6๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany82.3
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Tianjin15.6๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia, ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic16
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Xinjiang24๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia24.4
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Xizangย (Tibet)3.3๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ Uruguay3.5
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Yunnan47.7๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช Kenya45.4
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Zhejiang55.9๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa55.6

To drill down further, China is composed of:

  • 4 municipalities
    Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin
  • 5 autonomous regions
    Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet, and Xinjiang
  • 2 special administrative regions (SAR)
    Hong Kong and Macau

The remaining 22 are the officially-labeled provinces of China.

It’s worth noting that Taiwan is also claimed as one of China’s provinces, even though there is some ambiguity and disagreement around Taiwan’s actual political status.

Nevertheless, itโ€™s clear that every region, and especially the massive cities with them, are substantial contributors to the country’s growth and success.

A New Demographic Era Ahead

Going forward, Chinaโ€™s population may cease to be a strength that contributes to rapid economic growth.

In the wake of the infamous one child policy, the country could soon by dealing with the demographic time bomb of a rapidly aging population.

China population pyramid

Source: Population Pyramid

By 2050, almost four in ten people in China will be above the age of 60, which will create an added strain on the already declining working-age population.

The good news for China?

The country is making moves to combat the challenges ahead, including ambitious plans to build a $1 trillion artificial intelligence industry by 2030 – an attempt to close the impending labor gap.

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Markets

Recession Risk: Which Sectors are Least Vulnerable?

We show the sectors with the lowest exposure to recession riskโ€”and the factors that drive their performance.

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Recession Risk: Which Sectors are Least Vulnerable?

Recession Risk: Which Sectors are Least Vulnerable?

This was originally posted on Advisor Channel. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on financial markets that help advisors and their clients.

In the context of a potential recession, some sectors may be in better shape than others.

They share several fundamental qualities, including:

  • Less cyclical exposure
  • Lower rate sensitivity
  • Higher cash levels
  • Lower capital expenditures

With this in mind, the above chart looks at the sectors most resilient to recession risk and rising costs, using data from Allianz Trade.

Recession Risk, by Sector

As slower growth and rising rates put pressure on corporate margins and the cost of capital, we can see in the table below that this has impacted some sectors more than others in the last year:

SectorMargin (p.p. change)
๐Ÿ›’ Retail
-0.3
๐Ÿ“ Paper-0.8
๐Ÿก Household Equipment-0.9
๐Ÿšœ Agrifood-0.9
โ›๏ธ Metals-0.9
๐Ÿš— Automotive Manufacturers
-1.1
๐Ÿญ Machinery & Equipment-1.1
๐Ÿงช Chemicals-1.2
๐Ÿฅ Pharmaceuticals-1.8
๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Computers & Telecom-2.0
๐Ÿ‘ท Construction-5.7

*Percentage point changes 2021- 2022.

Generally speaking, the retail sector has been shielded from recession risk and higher prices. In 2023, accelerated consumer spending and a strong labor market has supported retail sales, which have trended higher since 2021. Consumer spending makes up roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

Sectors including chemicals and pharmaceuticals have traditionally been more resistant to market turbulence, but have fared worse than others more recently.

In theory, sectors including construction, metals, and automotives are often rate-sensitive and have high capital expenditures. Yet, what we have seen in the last year is that many of these sectors have been able to withstand margin pressures fairly well in spite of tightening credit conditions as seen in the table above.

What to Watch: Corporate Margins in Perspective

One salient feature of the current market environment is that corporate profit margins have approached historic highs.

Recession Risk: Corporate Margins Near Record Levels

As the above chart shows, after-tax profit margins for non-financial corporations hovered over 14% in 2022, the highest post-WWII. In fact, this trend has been increasing over the past two decades.

According to a recent paper, firms have used their market power to increase prices. As a result, this offset margin pressures, even as sales volume declined.

Overall, we can see that corporate profit margins are higher than pre-pandemic levels. Sectors focused on essential goods to the consumer were able to make price hikes as consumers purchased familiar brands and products.

Adding to stronger margins were demand shocks that stemmed from supply chain disruptions. The auto sector, for example, saw companies raise prices without the fear of diminishing market share. All of these factors have likely built up a buffer to help reduce future recession risk.

Sector Fundamentals Looking Ahead

How are corporate metrics looking in 2023?

In the first quarter of 2023, S&P 500 earnings fell almost 4%. It was the second consecutive quarter of declining earnings for the index. Despite slower growth, the S&P 500 is up roughly 15% from lows seen in October.

Yet according to an April survey from the Bank of America, global fund managers are overwhelmingly bearish, highlighting contradictions in the market.

For health care and utilities sectors, the vast majority of companies in the index are beating revenue estimates in 2023. Over the last 30 years, these defensive sectors have also tended to outperform other sectors during a downturn, along with consumer staples. Investors seek them out due to their strong balance sheets and profitability during market stress.

S&P 500 SectorPercent of Companies With Revenues Above Estimates (Q1 2023)
Health Care90%
Utilities88%
Consumer Discretionary81%
Real Estate
81%
Information Technology78%
Industrials78%
Consumer Staples74%
Energy70%
Financials65%
Communication Services58%
Materials31%

Source: Factset

Cyclical sectors, such as financials and industrials tend to perform worse. We can see this today with turmoil in the banking system, as bank stocks remain sensitive to interest rate hikes. Making matters worse, the spillover from rising rates may still take time to materialize.

Defensive sectors like health care, staples, and utilities could be less vulnerable to recession risk. Lower correlation to economic cycles, lower rate-sensitivity, higher cash buffers, and lower capital expenditures are all key factors that support their resilience.

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