Chinese have made notable progress in promoting science among ordinary people with higher input and more action, the Ministry of Science and Technology said Monday.

About 15.2 billion yuan (about 2.3 billion U.S. dollars) was raised in 2016 nationwide to popularize science, a 7.63 percent increase from 2015, the ministry said in a press release.

By the end of 2016, China had nearly 1,400 centers and museums of science and technology nationwide that specialized in popularizing science, a year-on-year growth of 10.7 percent, according to the ministry.

About 223,500 people worked in full time in this sector in 2016, up 2,000 over that of last year, the ministry said.

On average, one popular science facility served about a million people in 2016, which is a notable increase from that in 2015, said Qiu Chengli, an official with the ministry’s popular science department.

China will build more science and technology centers and museums in under-developed western areas and ethnic minority areas for balanced development, Qiu said.

Scientific research institutes and universities also contributed by holding about 8,080 popular science events by the end of 2016, 839 more than the previous year, which attracted over 8.6 million visits.