China’s population grows at slowest rate in decades

China’s population grew at its slowest rate in almost 70 years in the decade to 2020, according to new census data released on Tuesday.

The nation’s once-in-a-decade census, which was completed in December, showed its population increased to 1.41bn in 2020 compared with 1.4bn a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

But the figures also showed average annual population growth of just 0.53 per cent since 2010, compared with 0.57 per cent in the previous decade — the lowest rate since the People’s Republic of China began collecting census data in 1953.

The Financial Times reported last month that the Chinese government would reveal the first year-on-year population decline in 60 years in the census data. People close to the NBS said the initial population figure came in at less than 1.4bn, but was revised up.

Additional reporting by Xinning Liu in Beijing

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