China’s population is growing more slowly, reaching 1.41 billion people in 2020

The Chinese government revealed its census data on Tuesday morning (11; Monday evening in Brazil). The country had 1.411 billion inhabitants in 2020, 72 million more than in 2010.

The census was carried out by the National Department of Statistics. The survey is carried out every ten years, and this edition involved the work of more than 7 million people. The survey was carried out between November and December 2020. Some of the data was collected online, according to the South China Morning Post.

In the last survey, in 2010, the country had 1.339 billion inhabitants. As a result, the average annual growth between 2011 and 2020 was 0.53%. During the previous decade (2000-2010), this rate was 0.57%. The data only includes mainland China, not including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

The Chinese government disputed, at the end of April, a Financial Times report which pointed out that the number of inhabitants in China would decrease, for the first time in decades.

China had a population of around 540 million at the start of the 1950s. In less than 30 years, the population has doubled to reach 1 billion in the early 1980s.

Then, with a strict birth control policy, which allowed only one child per couple in many cases, population growth was contained. It is estimated that the measure has prevented the birth of around 400 million people since its application, starting in 1979.

Couples who violated the restrictions faced penalties such as paying high fines and losing jobs, and there were reports of stricter measures to suppress births, such as sterilizations and forced abortions.

However, in 2016, the Chinese government suspended the one-child policy and started encouraging every family to have two children. The goal set by Beijing in 2016 was to exceed 1.42 billion inhabitants by 2020.

In February this year, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security released figures indicating a decline in the number of newborn babies. According to the data, there were 11.79 million births in 2019 and in 2020 that number fell to 10.035 million.

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