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Population of China

   China is the most populous country in the world, with 1,265.83 million (2001), about 22 percent of the world's total.  This figure does not include many Chinese in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taiwan Province and Macao.  

The population density in China is 130 people per square km.  This population, however, is unevenly distributed.  Along the densely populated east coast tt here are more than 400 people per sq km; in the central areas, over 200; and in the sparsely populated plateaus in the west there are less than 10 people per sq km. 

When New China was founded in 1949, China had a population of 541.67 million.  Owing to China's stable society, rapid production development, improvement of medical and health conditions, insufficient awareness of the importance of population growth control and shortage of experience, the population grew rapidly, reaching 806.71 million in 1969.

In the early 1970s, the Chinese government realized that the over-rapid population growth was harmful to economic and social development, and would cause great difficulties in the fields of employment, housing, communications, and medical care; and that China could not effectively check the over-rapid population growth, and alleviate the tremendous pressure that the population growth was exerting on land, forest, and water resources, the worsening of the ecology and the environment in the coming decades would be disastrous, thus endangering the necessary conditions for the survival of humanity, and sustainable social and economic development.

Then the Chinese government began implementing a family planning, population control and population quality improvement policy in accordance with China's basic conditions of being a large country with a poor economic foundation, a large population and little cultivated land, so as to promote the coordinated development of the economy, society, resources and environment.

Since then birth rates have steadily declined year by year.  China's birth rate dropped from 34.11 per thousand in 1969 to 16.03 per thousand at the end of 1998; and the natural growth rate decreased from 26.08 per thousand to 9.53 per thousand, thus basically realizing a change in the population reproduction type to one characterized by low-birth, low-death and low-increase rates. 

China is a United, Multinational Country of 56 Ethnic Groups
According to the survey, in 1995, the Zhuang ethnic group, the largest of the 55 ethnic groups, has 15.556 million people, while the Lhoba, the smallest, has only 2,322 people.



1.2591 billion (1999), about 22% of total population in the world.

Total Population
Urban Population
Rural Population
1.2112 billion
1.2239 billion
359.5 million (29.4%)
864.39 million (70.6%)
1.2363 billion
369.89 million (29.9%)
866.37 million (70.1%)
1.2481 billion
1.2591 billion
388.92 million (30.9%)
870.17 million (69.1%)
1.29533 billion

Birth Rate (Per Thousand)
Death Rate (per thousand)
Natural Growth Rate (per thousand)

In 1998, there were 19.91 million new births and 8.07 million deaths, with a net growth of 11.84 million (compared with 12.37 million in 1997). More than 10% of the total population is over 60 years old (1999 data).
The Chinese population is unevenly distributed, with the eastern part heavily populated (more than 300 persons per square kilometer) and the west scarcely populated (about 40 persons per square kilometer). The national average density of population is 119 per square kilometer (1990 census). The average size of household is 3.7 persons. The proportion of population aged at 0-14 was 26.4 percent, 67.3% between the ages 15-64, and 6.4% for the age group of over 65.

The average life span of the Chinese population is 70.8 years, with the male at 68.71, and female at 73.04. (Some of the above data are based on the report from China National Statistics Bureau, FOR YOUR REFERENCE ONLY).

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 Related Books

Major Figures on 2000 Population Census of       China




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