Main data of the 7th National Population Census

2021-12-01 21:36:22 | Author:Ning Jizhe | Source:National Bureau of Statistics

Main data of the 7th National Population Census

Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of the Leading Group of the State Council for the 7th National Population Census

Director of the National Bureau of Statistics


May 11, 2021


Under the strong leadership of the Central Party Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and following the unified plan of the Leading Group of the State Council for the 7th National Population Census, competent local departments made careful efforts to organize and advance the census work. With hard work and selfless dedication by the enumerators and active participation and cooperation by more than one billion citizens, the 7th National Population Census was concluded with successful on-site population registration and main data summarization. Today, we are here to report to you the basic information and main data of the census.

I. Basic Information of the Census

According to the Statistics Law and National Population Census Regulation, China commenced the 7th National Population Census (the “Census”) at 00:00 of November 1, 2020, for the purpose of identifying the number, structure and distribution of China’s population, thus to offer accurate statistics to improve the population development strategy and policy systems, make effective economic and social development plans and accelerate high-quality development.

The Central Party Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the census. General Secretary Xi Jinping joined in the on-site population registration and delivered an important speech. The Leading Group of the State Council for the 7th National Population Census organized plenary sessions in person and through TV and telephone many times, to discuss the census and make census plans. All the member units of the Leading Group and local governments at all levels made serious efforts to implement those plans and in mutual cooperation on such implementation. A total of 679,000 census units were set up at the provincial, municipal, county, town and village levels across the country, and more than 7 million enumerators were appointed. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, those census units and enumerators finished a comprehensive census to all households and citizens of this country. The census registration tasks were finished in a successful way.

Electronic data acquisition was adopted in the census, which secured real-time data reporting. For the first time, the census objects were allowed to report online through scanning the QR code. Big data like administration records of various sectors, electricity consumption data and mobile phone data found more applications. Thanks to those innovative efforts, the quality and efficiency of the census were both much improved. Zhong Nanshan and Yao Ming were invited to be the publicity ambassadors of the census. Catchy slogans like “Da Guo Dian Ming, Mei Ni Bu Xing” (Big Country Census: No One Is Dispensable) helped to better promote. In the census, laws were abode by, requirements of the census plans met, strict quality control rules implemented, and the census data tracing and accountability mechanisms laid down and improved. Thirty-two thousand households were selected randomly from 141 counties of the 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) for afterwards quality check. As the check results showed, the under-registration rate was as low as 0.05%, indicating that the census process was rigorous and under regulation, and the census results are true and reliable.

II. Main Data of the Census

(I) Total population. The total population of China [note] was 1,411,780,000, increasing by 72.06 million (+5.38%) from the 1,339,720,000 in 2010 (the 6th National Population Census, similarly hereinafter), an annual average growth rate of 0.53%. The average growth rate was down  0.04 percentage points compared with the 0.57% during 2000-2010. According to the census data, China’s population kept growing at a slower rate in the last decade.

(II)  Population by category of registered residence. Across the nation, there were 494,160,000 households, and the population of family households was 1,292,810,000; there were 28,530,000 collectively registered residences, involving 118,970,000 people. The average population per family household was 2.62, 0.48 less than the 3.10 in 2010. The main reasons behind the smaller family households were the more active movement of population and the improvement of housing conditions, which supported the younger generation to live separately from their parents after getting married.

(III) Geographic distribution of population. The eastern, central, western and northeastern regions of China were home to 39.93%, 25.83%, 27.12% and 6.98% of the population, respectively. Compared with 2010, the share of each of those regions was 2.15 percentage points higher, 0.79 percentage points lower, 0.22 percentage points higher and 1.20 percentage points lower, respectively. People tended to move to more developed regions and cities.

(IV) Gender composition. Male: 723,340,000, sharing 51.24% of the total; female: 688,440,000, sharing 48.76%. The gender ratio (the ratio of male to female, assuming female as 100) was 105.07, a slight drop from 2010, The gender ratio at birth was 111.3, 6.8 lower from 2010. That showed the gender ratio of the Chinese population was further improved.

(V) Age structure. 0-14: 253,380,000, a share of 17.95% of the total; 15-59: 894,380,000, taking up 63.35%; 60 and above: 264,020,000 accounting for 18.70% (including: 65 and above: 190,640,000, accounting for 13.50% of the total population). Compared with 2010, the share of the population aged 0-14, 15-59 and 60 and above was up 1.35 percentage points, down 6.79 percentage points and up 5.44 percentage points, respectively. The recovering share of young children was a manifestation of the effect of the family planning policy adjustment. Meanwhile, as the aging degree rises, we are to face the pressure of long-term balanced population development for some time to come.

(VI) Educated population. The population with college diplomas was 218,360,000. Compared with 2010, the population with college diplomas per 100,000 persons increased from 8,930 to 15,467, and the average education years of people aged 15 and above rose from 9.08 to 9.91 years. The illiteracy rate was down from 4.08% to 2.67%. Such results proved the positive effects achieved by the vigorous efforts in higher education development and illiteracy elimination among the young and middle-aged in China over the past decade, and the improved population quality.

(VII) Urban and rural population. Urban population: 901,990,000, a share of 63.89%; rural population: 509,790,000, taking up 36.11%. Compared with 2010, the urban population was 236,420,000 more, and the rural population 164,360,000 less. The ratio of the urban population was 14.21 percentage points higher. With the advancement of the new-type industrialization, IT application and agricultural modernization, and the implementation of policies on transferring rural population into an urban one, the new-type urbanization process was steadily implemented over the past decade, and historical achievements were attained in urbanization.

(VIII) Migrant population. There were 492,760,000 people not living in their household registration places, including 116,940,000 living within their municipal regions but not in their household registration towns or sub-districts and 375,820,000 migrant people (including 124,840,000 cross-provincial migrant people). Compared with 2010, the population not living in their household registration places, the population living within their municipal regions but not in their household registration towns or sub-districts and the migrant population grew by 88.52%, 192.66% and 69.73%, respectively. China’s continuous economic and social development created conditions for population migration. The migration trend got more evident, and the size bigger.

(IX) Population by ethnic group. Han people: 1,286,310,000, occupying 91.11% of the total; minorities: 125,470,000, a share of 8.89%. Compared with 2010, the Han population grew by 4.93%, and the total minority population 10.26%. The ratio of minorities rose by 0.40 percentage points. The population by ethnic group grew steadily, which fully embodied the common development of all ethnic groups under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

The population problem remained a broader, long-term and strategic issue of China. The 7th National Population Census had made clear the population and its structure and distribution of China accurately showed the trend features of the current population, and collected massive precious data. Now we are losing no time in organizing, analyzing and developing the census data. We’ll release the census data and results in multiple methods, cooperate with the relevant departments on the forward-looking and strategic study on population development, and give the maximum play to the census, to offer strong statistics support for the high-quality development, development of targeted population strategies and policies and long-term balance population development.

On behalf of the Office of the Leading Group of the State Council for the 7th National Population Census and the National Bureau of Statistics, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the population census units at all levels and enumerators at the census frontline! It’s exactly the selfless dedication to the census and fearlessness in front of the pandemic of the more than 7 million enumerators that ensured a successful on-site census registration free from under-registration and mistaken registration, offering amenable census results. I hereby thank all walks of life and the massive census objects that participated and cooperated in the census! Our 1.4 billion citizens, responding to the call of “Population Census for Everyone”, with the sense of being master, seriously performed their census obligations and honestly submitted information. It’s exactly their active support that formed a solid foundation for such a mammoth work like the 7th National Population Census. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the friends from the press who helped with the census publicity! Thank you for your active publicity efforts. Your work contributed to encouraging, inspiring and motivating our enumerators, and letting the massive census objects understand and support the census work. Without your dedication or hard work, it would be difficult to successfully carry out the 7th National Population Census. Thank you!


Note: The total population of China covers the population of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government and the military personnel in active service in the Chinese mainland, excluding residents of Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan or foreigners.