China has a population of 1,295. 33 million, according to the communiqué on major figures of the 2000 population census issued Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The total population of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities (excluding Jinmen and Mazu islands of Fujian Province hereafter) and of servicemen on the mainland of China was 1,265.83 million.
The population of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was 6.78 million, that of Macao SAR was 440,000, that of Taiwan Province and of Jinmen, Mazu and a few other islands of Fujian Province was 22.28 million.
Population Increased 132.15 Million
China’s population increased 132. 15 million, or 11.66 percent over the 1980s in 10 years. The growth rate is 1.07 percent annually on average.
China has not only tided over the third baby booming since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and put the rapid population growth under effective control, but also entered the stage of the low fertility rate.
Rapid Population Growth Under Control
China has effectively put rapid population growth under control with the current population standing at 1,295.33 million, said Zhu Zhixin, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Wednesday. Zhu was also deputy head of the Population Census Leading Group Under the State Council.
The average annual growth rate over the past 10 years and four months was 1.07 percent, 0.4 percentage point down from the end of 1980s, which indicates that “China’s family planning policy has achieved effective results,” Zhu said.
He added that China has not only tided over the third baby boom since the founding of the People’s Republic of China and put population growth under control, but also entered the stage of low fertility rate.
Quality Further Improved
The educational level of China’s population witnessed a remarkable improvement over the past decade with the illiteracy rate down by 9.16 percentage points from a decade ago, according to the commissioner.
The just-concluded fifth national census, which was carried out on November 1 last year, showed that the crude illiteracy rate (the proportion of illiterate population at and above 15 years of age in the total population) stood at 6.72 percent, compared with 15.88 percent of the 1990 census.
In every 100,000 people, the number of people with university degree increased from 1,422 to 3,611, up 154 percent, while the number of people with primary education dropped from 37,057 to 35,701.
“The fast improvement of the population’s educational accomplishment in the 1990s was unprecedented,” Zhu said, adding that China’s efforts to eradicate illiteracy among the young and the middle-aged, and nationwide popularization of nine-year compulsory education have shown good results.
Aging Population Grows Fast
China now has 88.11 million persons in the age group of 65 and over, accounting for 6.96 percent of the total population.
The figures came from China’s fifth national census carried out in 2000. The share of aging population was up by 1.39 percentage points compared with the 1990 census.
“This reflected that since the country’s reform and opening-up, rapid growth was scored in social and economic development, which resulted in remarkable improvement of living standards and health and medical care service,” said Zhu Zhixin.
Zhu also attributed the rise in aging population to the rapid decline in the fertility rate.
Fully Complete Census by 2002
China will fully complete the national census work by the end of 2002, according to Zhu Zhixin.
“The fifth national census, which started in early 1998, have completed the preparation and field enumeration work. Data processing and utilization of census results are under way and the whole work will be completed by 2002,” said Zhu.
(People’s Daily 03/28/2001)