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.

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.

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

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

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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


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