When the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the population numbered 541.67 million. Owing to China's stable society, rapid development of production, improvement in medical and health conditions, insufficient awareness of the importance of population growth control and shortage of experience, the population grew rapidly, reaching 806.71 million in 1969. Since the 1970s, China has implemented a policy of family planning to control population growth which brought about the start of a decline in the birth rate. By 2005, the annual rate of population growth had decreased to 12.40 per thousand. Now China's population reproduction picture has basically been turned around into one characterized by low rates of birth, death and increase.
In line with the requirements of the Outline of National Economic and Social Development during the Eleventh Five-Year Program period, adopted at the Fourth Session of the Tenth NPC in March 2006, in the Eleventh Five-Year Program period (2006-2010) the goal is for the average annual natural increase in China's population not to exceed eight per thousand, and for the population by 2010 to be less than 1.36 billion.