China starts counting huge population

17:00, November 01, 2010      

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China kicked off its national census Monday with millions of counters setting out to tally the world's biggest population, estimated last year to be more than 1.3 billion.

More than 6 million census takers are expected to gather the latest data on China's population, including the nation's unprecedented urbanization drive and the latest results on its trademark urban "one child" family planning policy.

Officials have acknowledged that the count will be a difficult task due in part to the nation's migrant population, which is wary of giving away information. In addition, fresh data on China's quickly ageing population will be gathered.

An estimated 211 million people make up China's "floating population" -- an army of migrant laborers descending on cities and towns in an unprecedented wave of urbanization.

Anyone born before Monday gets included, and anyone born after Monday gets left out until the next one, in 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

About 90 percent of the people will be asked to fill in an 18-item form, covering their name, sex, ethnic group, household registration, and education; the other 10 percent, chosen randomly, will be asked to fill in a longer 45-question form.
In the 2000 census, China's population was calculated at 1.29 billion, compared to 594 million in the first census in 1953.

People's Daily Online


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