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China’s census shows population growth slowed

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Joggers run along the Bund across from the Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s once-a-decade census showed that the national population of the mainland was 1.41 billion people as of Nov. 1, 2020.

The average annual growth rate was 0.53% over the past 10 years, according to the results of the seventh national census, released Tuesday.

That’s down from an average annual growth rate of 0.57% between 2000 and 2010.

The population survey, which was conducted late last year, was originally expected to be released in April.

In 2019, mainland China’s population rose by 4.67 million to just over 1.4 billion people, according to official figures by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Several years ago, Chinese authorities began to roll back a decades-old “one-child policy” and allow people to have two children. But births continued to fall, dropping 15% in 2020 in a fourth straight year of decline.

Earlier this year, researchers with the People’s Bank of China published a paper calling for the full removal of restrictions on childbirth. The paper also gave other suggestions for encouraging more births, while describing how China’s aging population puts the country at an economic disadvantage to the U.S. and India.

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