|— Town —|
|- Total||56.8 sq mi (147.0 km2)|
|- Land||49.8 sq mi (129.1 km2)|
|- Water||6.9 sq mi (17.9 km2)|
|Elevation||272 ft (83 m)|
|- Density||82.4/sq mi (31.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0582410|
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 56.8 square miles (147.0 km²), of which, 49.8 square miles (129.1 km²) of it is land and 6.9 square miles (17.9 km²) of it (12.21%) is water.
Bodies of water in the town include China Lake, Three Mile Pond, and Branch Pond.
In 1774 a family named Clark settled in the area and established Jones' Plantation. In 1796 Jones' Plantation was incorporated as Harlem. On June 25, 1818, the Town of China was incorporated by combining Harlem, Fairfax (Albion), and Winslow.
The name of the town was chosen by Japheth Washburn. He wanted to call the town Bloomville, but people from the town of Bloomfield objecting, saying that the similarity of names could cause confusion. Mr. Washburn settled on the name China, because it was the name of one of his favorite hymns. This hymn, now known as "Jesus Loves Me," was then titled "China" in some hymnals.
The town of China contains four villages: China, South China, Weeks Mills, and Branch Mills.
At a yearly Town Meeting citizens elect five Town Selectmen, one of whom is chosen as chairman. The citizens also outline the budget for the coming year. The Selectmen appoint a Town Manager who oversees the daily operation of the town.
China is part of Regional School Unit 18 (China, Rome, Belgrade, Sidney and Oakland). China students are given the choice of attending any public high school including nearby schools in Winslow, Waterville, Augusta and Oakland. There is also a private high school, Erskine Academy, in South China, which some students choose to attend, and the town subsidizes their tuition (which Erskine reduces for China students). The town subsidizes a portion of tuition to any other private school a student chooses to attend, as well as the tuition to attend a public school.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,106 people, 1,549 households, and 1,175 families residing in the town. The population density was 82.4 people per square mile (31.8/km²). There were 2,029 housing units at an average density of 40.7/sq mi (15.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.98% White, 0.15% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.05% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.63% of the population.
There were 1,549 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.1% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 17.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $41,250, and the median income for a family was $42,768. Males had a median income of $31,802 versus $23,371 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,262. About 2.1% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.