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China's Population Up by 200 Mln in 30 Years
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Over the next 30 years China's population will increase by 200 million, according to statistics published on Thursday.

The report by the State Population and Family Planning Commission paints a clear picture of China's projected population growth and outlines plans to resolve current related issues.

The implementation of the family-planning policy in 1973 reduced Chinese women's fertility rate to about 1.8 by the mid to late 1990s, states the report. 

China's population is expected to reach 1.36 billion by 2010 and 1.45 billion by 2020. The peak will come in 2033 when the number will hit 1.5 billion, predicts the report.

It says China has an aging population with seniors over 60 numbering 143 million. This is 11 percent of the total.

By 2020 there'll be 234 million people over the age of 60, accounting for 16 percent of the country's total population, a sharp rise on the 9.9 percent in 2000.

The report estimates that by the late 2040s those aged over 60 will number 430 million or 30 percent of the country's total population with more than 320 million - or 22 percent - over 65.

Those over 80, the report says, will reach 22 million and 83 million in 2020 and 2050, respectively.

The report predicts that China will face increased tensions caused by the conflict between a large population and limited resources. By the end of 2016 China's labor force, aged 15 to 64, will number 1.01 billion. This is well in excess of the total number of workers in all developed countries.

The research observes that many Chinese workers won't be qualified to compete internationally because of low health and educational status.

Statistics show that China reports 800,000 to 1.2 million abnormal newborn babies each year. This accounts for four to six percent of births and the figure has continued to rise. Mental illness is on the increase and diseases such as AIDS continue to threaten public health, the report states.

These problems have affected social development and harmony, the efficiency of resource use and the overall competitiveness of the nation, the report observes. 

It suggests maintaining and improving the family-planning policy in an effort to restrict the population to 1.36 billion in 2010.

According to the plan detailed in the report county and town-level agencies in rural areas should improve their services to better implement family planning policies. Families with one child will be rewarded by the government and the endowment insurance system in rural areas should be strengthened to improve care for the elderly.

The report also calls for improvements to the nine-year compulsory education system, the control of HIV/AIDS and public health services.

(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2007)

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