A total of 53.06 percent of China’s population can “effectively communicate orally in Mandarin,” according to China’s Ministry of Education, which recently conducted a survey of half a million people. The rate in cities was 66 percent, while in rural areas it was 45 percent, the ministry said.
The survey also found that 56.76 percent of Chinese men can speak Putonghua, while 49.22 percent of women speak it. About 70 percent of people between the age of 15 and 29 speak mandarin, while only 30.97 percent between the age of 60 and 69 can speak standard mandarin.
Although the stories on this do not mention this, the results are essentially identical with those of a similar survey in 2004. According to that survey:
- “nearly 53 percent of the 1.3 billion Chinese in the country” can speak Mandarin
- 66 percent of the citizens in China’s cities and towns can speak Mandarin (This wording may be an indication that China’s large “floating population” was not included.)
- 45 percent of those in rural areas can speak Mandarin