The population of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region climbed to 2.81
million last year, up 40,000 on 2005, according to the latest
report on the region's social and economic development.
The growth rate averaged 1.17 percent, with a birthrate of 1.74
percent and a death rate of 0.57 percent, said the report, jointly
published by Tibet's regional bureau of statistics and a survey
team of the National Bureau of Statistics.
It said the life expectancy of the regional population averaged
67 years, compared with 35.5 years in 1951, the year of Tibet's
While the report didn't give a breakdown of the Tibet people as
against other ethnic groups, it said that more than 2.5 million
Tibet people made up at least 92 percent of the regional population
in the most recent census in 2003.
Tibet occupies one eighth of Chinese territory but has the
smallest population, with an average of less than three people per
square kilometer. The region spans 1.2 million square kilometers,
twice the size of France.
The region had only 1.14 million people in 1951.
China's family planning policy, which limits most urban couples
to one child and rural families to two since the late 1970s, does
not apply to Tibet people.
The report attributed the population growth to social stability
and sustained economic development in Tibet, fostered by assistance
from central government and other Chinese localities.
The central government has provided at least 6.2 billion yuan
(US$775 million) of assistance to Tibet in the past decade. Nearly
3,000 government employees and business executives from leading
state-owned firms have rotated to work in Tibet for a minimum of
Tibet reported 29 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) of gross
domestic product last year, up 13.4 percent, the fastest growth
rate in the past decade.
Farmers and herders posted a per capita net annual income of
2,435 yuan (US$312), a figure the central government wishes to
increase to 3,820 yuan (US$478) by 2010, near the national average
(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2007)