China's population to hit 1.5 billion by 2033

14:05, September 30, 2010      

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The population of China will reach 1.5 billion by 2033, said Zhao Baige, a deputy director of China's Population and Family Planning Committee.

Besides the increase in the population, Zhao listed five demographic challenges facing China at the International Population and Development Forum.

First, the index of China's population will reach three peaks successively in the first half of this century: the labor force will reach 1 billion by 2016, total population will hit 1.5 billion by 2033, and the population aged 60 years or more will reach about 400 million by 2040.

Second, health and educational levels are still low. The crude illiteracy rate, defined as the proportion of illiterate population at and over the age of 15 in the total population, is far higher than the level of developed countries, which is 2 percent or less. The average length of education is below nine years. Each year, 800,000 to 1 million disabled babies are born.

Third, contradictions in the makeup of the population are emerging. The male-to-female ratio reached 119.45 in 2009. The population is aging at a faster rate than before. The percentage of the elderly who are older than 60 or 65 years is 12.5 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, and that number is expected to increase to 17.1 percent and 12.0 percent by 2020. In rural area, the aging population account for a higher proportion because the young are flowing out and heading to the cities.

Fourth, the migrant population has reached 200 million, and 300 million will become urban population in the next 20 years.

Fifth, reproductive health services are still insufficient, especially for the unmarried, youth and migrant population.

By Liu Hui People's Daily Online


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