China uses more cement than all of the other countries in the world combined, and it also accounts for about half of the world's demand for iron ore, coal and even pigs. To put this in perspective, China's gross domestic product accounts for less than 10 percent of the global economy, though its citizens do account for about one-fifth of the global population.
More facts about cement:
- Contrary to popular belief, concrete and cement aren't the same thing. In fact, cement is an ingredient of concrete and must be mixed with an aggregate — such as gravel or sand — to make concrete.
- Concrete and other cement mixtures were used in construction as far back as the Roman Empire, and several of these cement structures, including the Pantheon, are still standing.
- China produces about half of the world's cement. The next top producers are India and the United States. Together, these three countries make more than half of the world's cement.