China's Shanghai Expo 2010 – by the numbers

China calls the Shanghai World Expo its 'Economic Olympics.' It is expected to attract 70 million visitors and cost $55 million. And yes, China has the biggest pavilion.

  • close
    The China Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo site in Shanghai, in this March 21 file photo. Shanghai unveils to the world on Friday its multi-billion dollar Expo.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

With its Shanghai World Expo opening Friday, China is unveiling its second mega-global gathering in two years – as well as another set of world record-breaking figures.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at what China is calling its “Economic Olympics.”

China beckons

Expected visitors: 70 million

Recommended: For China, Olympics are a time to display – and to conceal

Population of Shanghai: 20 million

Countries participating: 191

Countries in the world: 191-195, depending how you count

Total groups participating: 246

Height of Chinese pavilion: 207 feet

Height of the next tallest pavilion: 69 feet

On eve of Shanghai Expo 2010, China finds 'soft power' an elusive goal

IN PICTURES: Shanghai World Expo 2010

Breaking new ground

Size of Expo grounds: 5.3 square kilometers (2 square miles)

Times the previous Expo, held in Spain in 2008, could fit into the Shanghai Expo grounds: 20

Soccer fields that could fit inside the expo grounds: 1,000

Households bulldozed to make way for the site: 18,000

Days the Expo will last: 184

Live shows planned: 20,000

Length of fireworks show at opening ceremony Friday: 30 minutes

Investment: priceless

Estimated cost (in media reports): $55 billion

Estimated cost of Beijing Olympics: $40 billion

Official estimated cost of Expo: $4.2 billion

Official amount spent on upgrading Shanghai’s infrastructure: $45 billion

Percentage of visitors expected to come from within China: 95

Cost of one ticket: 160 yuan ($24)

Average disposable income per month in China: 1,430 yuan ($210)

Losses from 1986 Expo in Vancouver, Canada: $33 million

Losses from 2000 Expo in Hanover, Germany: $1.1 billion

Profit from 2010 Expo that Shanghai officials say they expect: $0

Crowd control

Volunteers helping inside the expo: 72,000

Volunteers placed around the city: 100,000

‘Civic volunteers’ also recruited to help: 2 million

People detained by police in a pre-Expo crackdown: 6,000

People sent for reeducation through labor for Expo-related reasons this year: 10

People detained or placed under house arrest: dozens

Sources: China Daily, Financial Times, Earth Times, Guardian, Reuters, Telegraph,, Xinhua

IN PICTURES: Shanghai World Expo 2010


We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.