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Location of Hubei
Hubei is situated in central China, extending across two major river systems - the Yangtze and Hanjiang. Hubei adjoins Henan Province on the north, Anhui Province on the east, Jiangxi Province on the southeast, Hunan Province on the south, Chongqing Municipality on the west and Shaanxi Province on the northwest. Lying between 29005'-33020' north latitude and 108021'-116007' east longitude, Hubei covers an area of 185,900 square km, accounting for 1.94 percent of the national total, ranking the 16th nationwide.
With mountains in the west, north and east and low, humid plains in the central south, Hubei is like a basin of a slightly irregular shape which can be divided into four topographical zones: 1) The Jianghan Plain in the central south forms part of the Lianghu Plain together with the Dongting Lake Plain of Hunan Province. Low and flat and crisscrossed by rivers and lakes, it is the major farming area of the province. 2) The Western Hubei Mountain Area includes the Wudang, Jingshan, Daba and Wushan mountains. Its main peak, the 3,053-metre Dashennongjia, is the highest peak in central China. A primeval forest area known as the "green treasure-house," it teems with animal and plant life. The spectacular Three Gorges, formed as the Yangtze River cuts through the Wushan Mountains, offer wide prospects for hydroelectric power and are the key water transport artery to Sichuan. Under construction here is the gigantic Gezhouba key water conservancy project. 3) The Northeastern Hubei Hilly Area on the Hubei-Henan-Anhui border consists mainly of the Tongbai and Dabie ranges and is the watershed of the Huaihe and Changjiang rivers. 4) The Southeastern Hubei Hilly Area includes the northern sloping foothills of the Mufu Mountains.
There are more than 1,000 rivers in Hubei. The Changjiang River serves as the backbone into which its tributaries flow from two directions to form the single Yantze River, system. The section of the Yangtze from Zhijiang to Chenglingji, known as the Jingjiang River, follows a zigzag course. The Hanshui is the longest tributary of the Yangtze River. Hubei has more lakes than any other province with most of them in the Jianghan Plain. The best-known lakes are Honghu, Liangzi and Changhu.
Populatin of Hubei
By the end of 2002, Hubei had a population of about 59.878 million. There are more people living in the east of the province than in the west.
Hubei is a province where many ethnic groups live in compact communities. It now has 50 ethnic groups, including the Han, Tujia, Miao, Hui, Dong, Manchu, Zhuang and Mongolian. According to the fifth national census, the ethnic minority groups, with nearly 2.58 million people, comprise 4.34 percent of the province's total population. Minority ethnic groups with over 10,000 people include the Tujia, Miao, Hui, Dong and Manchu. With 1.8 million people, Tujia is the largest ethnic minority group in Hubei, comprising 80 percent of the total ethnic minority population in the province. The second largest, the Miao, constitutes 10.3 percent. The areas where ethnic minority groups live in compact communities cover more than 30,000 square kilometers, forming one-sixth of the province's total area. Ethnic minority groups are mainly distributed in southwestern Hubei.
The fifth population census shows that of every 100,000 people in Hubei, 3,898 have had university education; 12,595 have received senior secondary education; 34,311 have received junior secondary education; and 35,416 have had primary education only. The illiterate rate stands at 7.15 percent.
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