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I.China Social Statistical Yearbook 2008 is the statistical yearbook which reflects various aspects related to social development. It is based on social statistical data of different departments, and mainly contains the following chapters: education, culture, sports, public health, social security, social order and public security, and other social activities.II.The Yearbook could reflect basic characteristics of statistics from different departments, although information from each department contained in this yearbook is different, and so is the length of time series of data, due to varying statistical statuses of each department.III.The Yearbook also includes, in the form of annex, some statistical communiqués and important survey reports reflecting the development of related departments. This is a necessary supplement to social statistical data. In addition, explanatory notes on main statistical indicators are provided at the end of the Yearbook.IV.Data and materials contained in the Yearbook are sourced from the following departments: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, General Administration of Press and Publication, the State Archives Administration, General Administration of Sports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Supreme People’s Court, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, the United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee, the National People’s Congress, National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, All-China Women's Federation, China Disabled Persons’ Federation, etc.V.Notations used in the yearbook: (blank space) indicates that data are unknown or are not available; “#” indicates a major breakdown of the total.VI.Our deep appreciation goes to many departments which provided supports in compiling this Yearbook. It is inevitable that there might be some mistakes in the book because of wide coverage and large workload involved in collecting and compiling social statistics. Suggestions from readers are welcome so as to improve the quality of this publication in the future.