Census: China's 1.34 billion are more urban, older


Miscellaneous  Updated:Thu, Apr 28, 2011 09:09 AM   By Bernd Chang



A nurse takes care of newborn babies at a hospital in Hefei, Anhui province April 21, 2011. The proportion of mainland Chinese people aged 14 or younger was 16.6%, down by 6.29% from the number in the 2000 census. 

The results of a national census conducted late last year show the proportion of elderly people in the country of 1.34 billion jumped, while that of young people plunged sharply. The census results, announced Thursday, also show that half the population now lives in cities.

BEIJING, April 28 -- China's population has increased to 1.37 billion, including 1.3397 billion on the mainland, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

The new population figure for the Chinese mainland was 73.9 million more than that of 2000, when China conducted its fifth national census, according to data from the sixth census released by the NBS.

The census data shows an annual average population growth of 0.57 percent over the past decade (2000-2010) on the Chinese mainland, slower than the growth rate of 1.07 percent from 1990 to 2000, said Ma Jiantang, director of the NBS.

"The rate indicated the momentum of fast growth in our population has been controlled effectively thanks to the family planning policy," Ma said, adding: "This has eased the pressure on resources and the environment and laid a relatively good foundation for steady and rapid economic and social development in China."

When asked about China's family planning policy that started in 1980, Ma said China had made great achievements in family planning work by effectively controlling excessive population growth.

"But we also need to pay close attention to the new changes of our population structure, adhering to the family planning policy while cautiously and gradually improving the policy to promote more balanced population growth in the country," Ma said.

He described the upward aging population trend, an expanding floating population and the high boy-to-girl sex ratio among newborns as three major challenges China faced last decade.

According to the census, males accounted for 51.27 percent of the total population on the mainland, while females made up 48.73 percent. But the male-to-female ratio among the newborns was 118.06 for every 100 girl infants, higher than 116.86 in 2000.

"The gender ratio of 118.06 was still beyond the normal range and we must attach great attention to this problem and take more effective measures to promote sex equality in terms of employment and salary, while caring more for girls," he said.

China's mainland population living in urban areas totaled 665.57 million, or 49.68 percent of the total, up by 13.46 percentage points on the 2000 figure, while the population categorized as rural population stood at 674.15 million, said the bureau.

"Judging from the migration data, our economy has boosted its vitality over the past decade, as more people were migrating from the inland and western regions to the economically developed eastern coastal areas," Ma said.

According to the NBS, the proportion of permanent residents living in the eastern mainland regions rose by 2.41 percentage points over the last decade to 37.98 percent, while less people were living in the central, western and northeastern parts.

The falling birth rate and increasing floating population of migrant workers led to a declining number of 3.1 persons for each core household on average on the mainland, compared with 3.44 persons in 2000, according to the census data.

Also, the proportion of Han Chinese residing on the mainland had dropped to 91.51 percent, or 0.08 percentage points lower than that in 2000.

The census data shows the growth rate of the aging population on China's mainland had increased with people aged 60 or above accounting for 13.26 percent, up 2.93%, while juniors aged below 14 made up 16.6 of the total, down by 6.29% from the number in the 2000 census.

The figures also showed that China's population is growing more slowly than in the past.

Between 1990 and 2000, the total population increased by 11.7%.

The census data also shows that the illiteracy ratio on the mainland declined to 4.08 percent in 2010 from 6.72 percent in 2000.

To break down the census data by regions, Guangdong, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces were the top five largest populated regions on China's mainland.

As the world's most populous country, China launched its month-long sixth national population census on its mainland from Nov. 1 last year, mobilizing more than six million census takers to go door to door and visit over 400 million households across the country.

Statistics on the population in China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan were provided by authorities in those regions in 2000.

Key figures

China's urban population surges to 665.57 mln

China's urban population had risen to 665.57 million, accounting for 49.68 percent of the country's total population by Nov. 1 2010, official figures released Thursday indicated.

The proportion of urban population has increased by 13.46 percentage points since 2000, according to the sixth national census data.

Higher male-to-female ratio among the newborns

According to the census, males accounted for 51.27 percent of the total population on the mainland, while females made up 48.73 percent. But the male-to-female ratio among the newborns was 118.06 for every 100 girl infants, higher than 116.86 in 2000.

Han Chinese proportion in China's population drops

The proportion of Han Chinese in China's total population had dropped to 91.51 percent by Nov. 1, 2010.

The proportion of Han Chinese in the 1.3397 billion total population in China was 0.08 percentage point lower than that in 2000 when China conducted its previous national census, the National Bureau of Statistics said when releasing the data.

China's aging population expands rapidly

China's aging population is increasing quickly while the birth rate remains low. The sixth national population census showed 16.6 percent of the country's population was aged 14 or younger. The figure was 6.29 percentage points lower than that in the 2000 census.

China's population up 0.57% annually on average since 2000

China's population grew 0.57 percent annually on average since the year 2000.

China to keep birth rate low: president

China will stick to and improve its current family planning policy and maintain a low birth rate, President Hu Jintao has said on April 27.

Hu, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks Tuesday at the 28th group study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
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