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Transport infrastructure in China - statistics & facts

In the last decade, the total length of China’s roads has increased significantly by around one million kilometers. The network includes freeways totaling more than 161,000 kilometers, more than a double from 2010. In regards to types of roads, township roads have the longest length in the road system of China with over 1.2 million kilometers, while county roads maintained around 660,000 kilometers and provincial roads around 372,000 kilometers, with national roads having almost doubled from 2015 to 2016 and now remaining at around 382,000 kilometers. The rapid development of road network was necessary to support the growing volume of road freight transport of the country, which stood at approximately 34 billion metric tons in 2020.


In terms of rail, Inner Mongolia is the region with the longest length of rail network in operation, which was almost double of any other region. Meanwhile, Inner Mongolia ranked only second when it comes to railway freight transported, with around 150 million tons of goods transported less than Shanxi. However, the rail passenger transport segment showed a very different scene, with Guangdong having transported the most railway travelers in the country, and rail passenger transport capacity peaking in Henan and Hebei.


Civil Aviation Administration of China recorded over 240 civil airports in the country from around 140 in the beginning of the 2000s, covering four million kilometers of international aviation routes. By the end of 2019, there were more than 6,100 civil aircraft in China. Total volume of freight handled by airway amounted to 6.77 million metric tons in 2020, despite the global pandemic.


As for waterways, the Yangtze river is the main river for inland water transport in China, with a total inland waterway length of approxiamately 64,700 kilometers, which far exceeded the length of other rivers combined. Jiangsu has the longest length of navigable waterways in China, stretching over 24,000 kilometers, while Shandong is the region with the highest passenger transport capacity in Chinese waterways, with over 1.4 trillion passenger kilometers in 2019.

Urban public transportation

Throughout China, bus/trolley bus is the main type of public transport typically carrying almost 70 billion passengers annually, followed by taxi with around 35 billion, and then metro/subway with around 24 billion commuters. The number of taxis in cities fluctuated around 1.4 million in the last few years, while the subway system operated over 225 subway lines of a total length of over 7,000 kilometers.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Transport infrastructure in China".


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