Fujian had a population of about 34.88 million at the end of 2003, an increase of 220,000 from the end of the previous year.
Population growth rate:
The natural population growth rate stood at 5.85 per thousand.
Fujian is a province where many ethnic groups live in compact communities. According to the fifth population census, Fujian has 48 ethnic groups, with the Han constituting the largest group and the 47 ethnic minority groups, with 580,000 people in total, comprising 1.67 percent of its population. The She is the largest ethnic minority group in the province, with a population of 350,000, accounting for more than 50 percent of its total population nationwide. The number of Hui people exceeds 10,000. Ethnic minority groups in Fujian are mainly distributed in Ningde, followed by Fuzhou City and Quanzhou City.
By 2003 Fujian had 64 institutes of higher learning, 592 senior high schools, and 7,064 kindergartens. There are also 77 special schools for the handicapped.
Hometown of overseas Chinese:
Fujian is one of the hometowns of overseas Chinese. The number of Fujian natives residing abroad totals 8.8 million. They live in more than 90 countries and regions across the world, mainly in Southeast Asia.
Fujian faces Taiwan across the sea. The people on the two sides of the Straits are closely linked because they have the same ancestors, speak the same dialect and share the same customs and cultural traditions. People from Fujian began to move to Taiwan more than 1,700 years ago. In the 17th century, large numbers of Fujian people migrated to Taiwan in order to escape from wars and natural disasters. When Zheng Chenggong, a heroic general, recovered Taiwan from the Dutch colonialists during the late Ming and early Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, he took with him tens of thousands of Fujian officers and men and their families to the island. These Fujian immigrants brought with them production techniques, cultural traditions, native dialect, customs and religious beliefs; they lived and multiplied there generation after generation, making special contributions to the social, economic and cultural development of Taiwan. According to statistics published in Taiwan, people of Fujian origin comprise 80 percent of Taiwan's 20 million population. The number of Taiwan compatriots living in Fujian also exceeds 10,000.