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Facts & Figures: Tibet's population
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19:22, April 11, 2008

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The Tibetan Autonomous Regional Bureau of Statistics has published the findings of census in the region, which shows Tibetans comprise at least 92.6 percent while Hans never exceeded 6 percent since 1959.

Following are facts and figures given by the survey and other documents, which are contrary to the Dalia Lama's claim that Tibetans are becoming a minority in their homeland:

-- Tibet's population stood at 2.84 million at the end of last year, 31,500 more than at the end of 2006. Among its permanent residents, more than 2.5 million, or 95.3 percent, were Tibetans.

-- Tibet's population was 1.14 million in 1951.

-- China's family planning policy, which limits most urban couples to one child and rural families to two since the late 1970s, does not apply to Tibetans. As a result, the birth rate and natural growth rate in Tibet have been above national average since 1970.

-- Some epidemics, including smallpox, cholera and scarlet fever that were rampant in the region are now under control and the death rate for pregnant women has decreased from 5 percent in 1959 to the current 0.399 percent, while the infant mortality rate is down from 45 percent to 0.31 percent.

-- The life expectancy of Tibetans reaches 67 years, almost double the figure in the 1950s. The oldest person in Tibet, Amai Cering, celebrated her 117th birthday last month.

-- The average income of the urban population rose 24.5 percent last year to 11,131 yuan (1,590 U.S. dollars). Farmers and herders had a per capita net income of 2,788 yuan, up 14.5 percent. The central government plans to increase that figure to 3,820 yuan by 2010, near the national average for farmers.

-- In 2007, the region's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 14 percent to more than 34.2 billion yuan, about 12,100 yuan per capita.

-- Less than 2 percent of children went to school and the illiteracy rate among young and middle-aged adults was 95 percent before 1951. The current education policy in Tibet also allows the urban students to receive free nine-year compulsory education, and the illiteracy rate has dropped to 4.8 percent among young and middle-aged adults and the overall rate is below 30 percent.

Source: Xinhua

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