Chinese mainland national population increases by 480,000 in 2021
Updated 22:43, 17-Jan-2022
China's population continued to grow in 2021. /CFP

China's population continued to grow in 2021. /CFP

China's population on the mainland grew to 1.4126 billion by the end of last year, government data showed Monday. 

The latest population figure increased by 480,000 compared with the end of 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

The figure does not include Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan residents and foreigners who live in the mainland's 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities, according to the NBS.

The number of newborns in 2021 stood at 10.62 million, according to the NBS data, with the birth rate at 7.52 thousandths.

China's birth rate reflected a downward trend over the past five years. In 2017, there were 17.23 million newborns, followed by 15.23 million in 2018, 14.65 million in 2019 and 12 million in 2020, according to previous data released by the NBS.

Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, attributed the continuous fall to a combination of factors, including the decline of women of childbearing age and a lower fertility rate, and the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic on marriage and fertility arrangements for young people. 

"The slowdown in population growth is the objective result of China's economic development, especially industrialization and urbanization, to a certain stage. Aging and low birthrate are also common problems faced by developed countries and even some emerging economies," Ning said.

The population aged 60 and above reached 267.36 million in China in 2021, accounting for 18.9 percent of the national population, of which 200.56 million were aged 65 and above, accounting for 14.2 percent of the national population, according to the NBS. 

China's population living in urban areas on the mainland increased by 12.05 million from the end of 2020 to 914.25 million by the end of 2021, representing 64.72 percent of the total, the data showed. Rural population stood at 498.35 million, down by 11.57 million from the end of 2020.

(With input from Xinhua)

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