China's Population Hits 1.37 Billion

Until November 1 last year, China's total population had stood at 1,339,724,852. Ma Jiantang, Director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said in April.

China has successfully finished its sixth nationwide census work, including preparation, onsite registration and follow-up quality sampling. The data indicate, compared with the fifth consensus conducted in 2000, China's population grew by 73.9 million, up by 0.57 percent, at a low birth rate.

Of the total population in the mainland, men accounted for 51.27 percent, while women made up 48.73 percent.

The sixth census also collected basic data on the quantity, quality, structure and distribution of China's population. Census bulletin (No.1) said the country's total population had stood at more than 1.37 billion by the end of 2010, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Rapid growth curbed

"China's population is growing slowly. This shows China's basic national policy of family planning has been well implemented and excessively rapid population growth has been effectively curbed. It is relieving the environment of pressures on resource demand and laying a solid foundation for the sound development of the Chinese economy and society," said Ma Jiantang.

Meanwhile, as the world's most populous country, China is sparing no effort to implement the Program of Action of International Conference on Population and Development and to fulfill its commitments to UN Millennium Development Goals.

The number of the country's aging population is growing. People aged 60 or above account for 13.26 percent, up by 2.93 percentage points compared with 2000. Of the elderly, 8.87 percent are aged 65 or above, up by 1.91 percentage points compared with 2000.

Improved population quality

The illiteracy ratio in the mainland declined to 4.08 percent in 2010 from 6.72 percent in 2000. Numbers with college educational level among every 100,000 persons jumped from 3,611 to 8,930.

"This fully shows China's great strides in promoting nine-year compulsory education and higher education. It also indicates China's educational level keeps improving," Ma said.

Urbanization speeding up

In 2010, the population of permanent urban residents was very close to that of rural residents. The Chinese mainland's urban population totaled 666 million, representing 49.68 percent of the total, while the rural population stood at 674 million, making up 50.32 percent of the total.

Ma said the urban population ratio had risen by 13.46 percentage points from 2000 to 2010. Urban population increased by 9.86 percentage points from 1990 to 2000. China had quickened the pace of urbanization, raising both its industrialization and modernization levels.

Migration increases

In 2010, floating population in certain cities' jurisdiction but whose current residential places were not the places of their household registrations stood at 221 million, an increase of 100 million people over the year of 2000. The proportion of permanent residents in developed coastal provinces to the country's overall population is rising while that of permanent residents in the relatively backward hinterland areas to the country's overall population is falling. Greater numbers of people are moving from the western hinterland to developed eastern areas.

"Population migration is promoting economic development and supplying labor to regions that receive migrants. At the same time it is boosting income levels and development conditions in regions where migrants have departed for urban areas. This win-win result to an extent reflects the strengthening economic vitality of China and is also narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas as well as balancing eastern and western development," Ma said.

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