✅ Population 1.41178 billion, up by 5.38%
✅ Annual growth rate of 0.53%
✅ Urban residents up to 63.89%
✅ Gender ratio falls to 105.07
✅ People aged 60 or above 18.7%
✅ Average age of the Chinese 38.8yrs
✅ working-age 16-59, 880 million
China has maintained population growth over past decade; labor force remains abundant
Beijing, China | XINHUA | China’s population continued to grow steadily over the last decade, and its labor force remains abundant, data from the latest official census shows.
The population on the Chinese mainland has grown by an average annual rate of 0.53 percent from 2010 to 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday, citing data from the seventh national census conducted last year.
The rate was slightly lower than the average annual growth of 0.57 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the NBS.
“Data shows that China’s population has maintained slow growth in the past decade,” Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, told a press conference.
China has conducted a national census every 10 years since the 1990s. The country’s population on the mainland has reached 1.41178 billion, up by 5.38 percent or 72.06 million from 2010, the latest census data shows.
The figure does not include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents, nor does it include foreigners who live in the mainland’s 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, said the NBS.
China’s working-age population, or people aged between 16 and 59, stands at 880 million, according to Ning.
The average age of the Chinese population is 38.8, almost the same as the United States’ 38, he said.
Ning said the slight decrease in the annual growth rate was a result of mixed factors, including a continued drop in the number of women of childbearing age, couples delaying having children, and the rising cost of childbearing and parenting.
“This is an objective outcome of China’s economic development, particularly as the country’s industrialization and urbanization reaches a certain stage,” he said, noting that it is a universal issue and particularly evident in developed countries.
But he expects China’s population to stay above 1.4 billion “for a certain period in the future,” citing positive factors that will continue to support future growth.
He attributed the basically steady growth over the past decade to China’s large population base, which has ensured more than 10 million newborns every year, as well as a shift to the two-child policy that resulted in a rebound in the number of births.
In 2020, China’s population aged between zero and 14 hit 253.38 million, an increase of 30.92 million from 10 years ago, or 1.35 percentage points in proportion to the total population, census data shows.
In response to its rapidly aging population, China allowed all married couples to have two children in 2016. This followed an earlier policy easing in 2013 that allowed couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.
Ning said the sustained increase in life expectancy also contributed to population growth. In China, the annual number of deaths has never surpassed the annual number of births, due to improvements in people’s livelihoods and healthcare.
“China’s population will peak in the future, but there remains uncertainty as to when specifically it will happen,” Ning said.
Ning noted that population growth will be affected by such factors as age structure, people’s views on having children, government population policies, the cost of childbearing and parenting, medical services and the health conditions of the people.
“For the next stage, we should continue to pay attention to changes in population growth and respond actively to risks and challenges in demographic development,” he said.