The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Elite Portal FAQ

The CCP Elite Portal


What is this portal for?

In this portal, we allow you to visualize some of the key characteristics of roughly 1700 Chinese Communist Party elite who were or are active government officials during the 18th Central Committee (2012-2017) and the 19th Central Committee (2017-2022).  The key characteristics visualized here include the elite’s age, party rank, education level, gender, birth province, and alma mater. 

How am I going to use this portal?

There are three main sections of this portal. 

  1. Control Panel
  2. Interactive Visualization 
  3. External Links
An overview of the CCP elite interactive portal

An overview of the CCP elite interactive portal

1. Control Panel

In this panel, all control buttons allow you to toggle key characteristics of the elite.  Once selected some characteristic conditions, graphics on that particular sub-group of the elite are generated on the rest of the screen.

The Control Panel

The Control Panel


  1. You can select the elite into either officials active during the 18th CC or the 19th CC to see the key characteristics of those elite. (We will add 16th and 17th CC in the future updates.)
  2. This drop list allows you to subset the elite by party ranks, including Politburo Standing Committee members, Politburo members, Central Committee full or alternate members, and provincial standing committee members. 
  3. You can further filter elite who are born before 1962 or after 1962. 1962 is chosen as a cutoff because those born after 1962 can still serve an additional 5 years as a ministerial-level official and an additional 10 years as a Politburo member after the 2022 20th Party Congress.
  4. You can select one school to see its graduates’ information. You can either scroll down to select one school or type in the school name for a fast search and selection.
  5. This radio button allows you to switch the language of the data table and birth map between English and Chinese.

*Be noted, if you select multiple conditions, all conditions are applied to the result in an “AND” manner. This means all conditions must be met for an elite to be selected. 

If you want to reset all the conditions, you can simply refresh the page.


2. Interactive Visualization 

After you have selected conditions in the control panel, the portal will generate visuals using the FILTERED DATA

a. The Detail Information Data Table

Detailed information about selected elites, including name, age, rank, school of the highest degree. The age is his/her age at the beginning of the session you selected. 

You can search for a specific name/university. 

Once you selected one elite, his/her birthplace will be marked on the Birth Place Map.

Detailed Data Table

The Detail Information Data Table

b. The Birthplace Map

The provincial-level birthplace distribution of selected elites. With the darker color, the more elites are born in that province.

Hovering over the province, you’ll see the detailed number of elites who were born in that area. 

Please refresh the page if you see an error message in this area.

The Birthplace Map

The Birthplace Map

c. Demographics Tab

i. The Number of each CCP Rank

You will see how many elites are selected at each CCP level.

The Number of each CCP Rank

The Number of each CCP Rank

ii. The Gender Distribution Chart

This chart shows the male and female numbers of the selected elites.

The Gender Distribution Chart

The Gender Distribution Chart

iii. The Age Distribution Chart

This chart shows the age distribution of selected elites. You can see the aggregated age distribution as well as age distribution in each CCP rank group. The y-axis is the predicted proportion.

You can select one line to highlight that group.

The Age Distribution Chart

The Age Distribution Chart

iv. The Education Distribution Chart

The pie charts show the education proportion for each CCP rank group.

Hover over the pie to see the exact number of each education group.

The Education Distribution Chart

The Education Distribution Chart


d. Schools Tab

In this tab, you will see the number of graduated elites from each school.

Schools are ranked by their total number of graduated elites.

Hover over the bar to see the exact number of graduates.

Schools Tab

Schools Tab


e. School Flow Tab

This swanky chart tracks where BA grads for one school end up for their MAs and PhD. The bar length of each school represents the total number of graduates from that school.

Links between the left and right bars indicate the elites who got a bachelor’s degree from the school on the left side and then got a master’s or Ph.D. degree from the school on the right side.

Hover over the link to show the exact number of elites who graduated from the left side school and then went to the right side school.

For example, there are 8 elites who got a bachelor’s degree from Peking University and then went to the Central Party School to seek a higher degree of the 19th National Congress of the CCP Session. There is no elite from Peking University then went to Tsinghua University.

School Flow


3. External Links

This section contains useful links.

Click the “Take a Tour” will take you to go through the functions of all components.

An example?

As an example, one can use the controls on the left side to examine the characteristics of 19th CC alternate Central Committee members who were born after 1962 and are Peking University alums.  It turns out there are only two, Chen Gang and Li Xiaobo.  In contrast, Tsinghua alums occupy 6 current alternate seats in the Central Committee.  Among these eight current alternate members of the Central Committee from China’s top universities, only one is a woman, Tsinghua University Party Secretary Chen Xu.

What data are you using?

The underlying data for this analysis comes from the Database of CCP Elite, which contains a wealth of information on the elite. 

Shih, Victor, Jonghyuk Lee, and David Meyer. 2015. “The Database of CCP Elite.” San Diego: Institute of Global Conflict and Cooperation. 

This data contains information on all full and alternate Central Committee members, provincial standing committee members, and vice governors specializing in law and politics issues through July of 2020.  In the future, we will release further data on elites from previous congresses and a larger subset of elites. 

Is there another way to go through the portal?

Yes! If you click the “Take a tour” link in the “Quick Links” section, a pop-up step-by-step guide and feature introduction tool will take you to go through the functions of all components.

What if the Birth Map shows error information?

There are some compatibility issues with the map plugin. Please refresh the page and you’ll see the correct map.

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