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Young population dwindles as birth rate declines
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The number of young people in the country shrank by 13 percent between 2000 and 2005 as a result of the national family planning policy, though researchers said the trend would slow in the coming years.

A recent study of the share of the population aged 14 to 29 showed that there were 294 million people in that age group at the end of 2005, down from 338 million in 2000.

The study, based on data taken from the national population survey in 2005, was jointly conducted by the China Youth & Children Research Center (CYCRC) and the population and development research center of Renmin University of China.

It also showed that there were 429.7 million people aged 14 to 35 at the end of 2005, down about 12.5 percent from the 491 million in 2000.

Liu Junyan, a lead researcher in the project and deputy director of the CYCRC, said the figures showed that in 2000, the share of the population aged from nine to 13, who grew up to be youths in 2005, was much smaller than the cohorts of 25- to 29-year-olds and 31- to 35-year-olds.

The share of the total population occupied by people aged 14 to 29 dropped to 22.9 percent in 2005 from 27.2 percent in 2000. The share occupied by 14- to 35-year-olds tumbled from 39.5 percent to 33.5 percent.

Hou Jiawei, another researcher, said the decline in the youth population would slow because the birth rate has been stabilized at a low level.

"China's birth rate will not drop out of control and will stop at a set level. That means the gap between the new youths and seniors will not expand without limit," he said.

(China Daily December 25, 2007)

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