Tibet's population tops 3 mln; 90% are Tibetans

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The number of permanent residents in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has topped 3 million, at least 90 percent of whom are native Tibetans, the regional government said Wednesday.

According to figures from the sixth national census conducted last year, the number of Tibet's permanent residents has reached 3,002,166, up 14.75 percent from the previous census in 2000, Tibet's regional bureau of statistics said in a press release.

It said Tibet's population had witnessed an annual 1.4 percent growth rate, faster than the national average growth of 0.57 percent.

However, the average number of people per household dropped slightly compared with the 2000 figure, it said.

The latest census found Tibet's 670,835 households had an average of 4.23 people each, down from the average 4.75 people per household in 2000.

China's one child policy does not apply to Tibetans, and farming and herding Tibetan families often have two children or more.

The 2.716 million Tibetans make up about 90.48 percent of Tibet's total population, whereas the Han, China's most populous ethnic group, account for 8.17 percent. Other ethnic groups make up 1.35 percent of the permanent residents in Tibet.

Xigaze is the most populated Tibetan prefecture, with 703,292 residents, followed by Qamdo, Lhasa, Nagqu, Shannan, Nyingchi and Ngari.

The latest census also found that people living in Tibet were better educated compared with the 2000 census result. The number of college graduates per 100,000 residents soared from 1,282 to 5,507, and at least 17,200 out of every 100,000 finished secondary school, as opposed to 9,891 in 2000.

Tibet is China's least-populated provincial-level region. Its population was only 1.23 million in 1959, the year the Chinese central government launched democratic reform there.

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