Mr. Ning Jizhe, Deputy Head of the Leading Group of the State Council for the Seventh National Population Census, Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics of China
May 11, 2021
Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, according to the coordinated decisions and arrangements made by the Leading Group of the State Council for the Seventh National Population Census, with the meticulous organization and cooperative advancement of all regions and relevant government departments, concerted efforts and dedications of all the census staff as well as the joint and active participation of hundreds of millions of census respondents, the Seventh National Population Census has completed the field enumeration and the aggregation of the main data successfully. Today, a press conference is held to brief you a basic introduction and main data of the Census.
I. Basic Introduction
In accordance with the Statistics Law of the People's Republic of China and the Regulations on National Population Census, China carried out its Seventh National Population Census (hereinafter referred to as the Census) with 00:00 hours of November 1, 2020 as the reference time, aiming to offer a comprehensive understanding of the number, structure, distribution and other aspects of China’s population so as to provide accurate statistical information support for the improvement of China's population development strategy and policy, the formulation of economic and social development plans and the advancement of high quality economic development.
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the Census. General Secretary Xi Jinping participated in the on-site registration of the census and delivered an important speech. The State Council established the Leading Group for the Census and held many plenary sessions and teleconferences to make relevant census arrangements. All member agencies of the Leading Group and local governments at all levels meticulously organized and implemented the census in concerted efforts, with 679 thousand census agencies set up at provincial, municipal, county, township and village levels across China and more than seven million census staff recruited. Census agencies at all levels and all census staff made active efforts to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully completed the field enumeration of all households and residents.
In the Census, data can be reported directly in real time by fully adopting digital data collection, respondents were enabled to fill in and submit questionnaires by scanning the QR code themselves for the first time, and the application of administrative records and big data from electricity meters and mobile phones was strengthened. As a result, the quality and efficiency of the census were improved. The Census intensified publicity by inviting Zhong Nanshan and Yao Ming as publicity ambassadors and its slogan “Population Census, Everyone Counts” resonated powerfully with people. The Census was conducted in accordance with the law and all the requirements in the census program were carefully implemented. With a strict quality control system, the Census established and improved the census data tracing and accountability mechanism. The post enumeration survey conducted in 32 thousand households of 141 counties randomly selected from 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) showed that the census process was rigorous and standard and the census results were reliable with an undercount rate of 0.05 percent.
II. Main Data of the Census
1. National Population. The national population  was 1,411.78 million persons, increased by 72.06 million persons compared with the population of 1,339.72 million persons in 2010 (data of the Sixth National Population Census), up by 5.38 percent. The average annual growth rate was 0.53 percent, down by 0.04 percentage point compared with the average annual growth rate of 0.57 percent from 2000 to 2010. The data showed that the population of China maintained a mild growth momentum in the past decade.
2. Population by Household Types. In the country, there were 494.16 million family households with 1,292.81 million persons and 28.53 million collective households with 118.97 million persons. The average size of a family household was 2.62 persons, or 0.48 person less than the 3.10 persons in 2010. The family households continued to downsize because of increasing population mobility and the fact that young people after marriage lived separately from parents with improved housing conditions.
3. Population by Regions. The population in the eastern region accounted for 39.93 percent of the total, that in the central areas accounted for 25.83 percent, that in the western region accounted for 27.12 percent and that in the northeast China accounted for 6.98 percent. Compared with data in 2010, the proportion of the population in the eastern region increased by 2.15 percentage points, that in the central areas decreased by 0.79 percentage point, that in the western region increased by 0.22 percentage point, and that in the northeast China decreased by 1.20 percentage points. The population further congregated in economically developed regions and city clusters.
4. Sex Composition. Of the national population, 723.34 million persons or 51.24 percent were males while 688.44 million persons or 48.76 percent were females. The sex ratio (female=100, male to female) was 105.07, basically the same level with a slight decline compared with that in 2010. The sex ratio at birth was 111.3, down by 6.8 compared with that in 2010. The sex composition of China continued to improve.
5. Age Composition. There were 253.38 million persons in the age group of 0 to 14, accounting for 17.95 percent; 894.38 million persons in the age group of 15 to 59, accounting for 63.35 percent; and 264.02 million persons in the age group of 60 and over, accounting for 18.70 percent (specifically, there were 190.64 million persons in the age group of 65 and over, accounting for 13.50 percent). Compared with 2010, the shares of people in the age groups of 0 to 14, 15 to 59, and 60 and above were up by 1.35 percentage points, down by 6.79 percentage points, and up by 5.44 percentage points respectively. The share of children rose again, proving that the adjustment of China’s fertility policy has achieved positive results. Meanwhile, the further aging of the population imposed continued pressure on the long-term balanced development of the population in the coming period.
6. Educational Attainment. There were 218.36 million persons with university education. Compared with 2010, the number of people with university education went up from 8,930 persons to 15,467 persons per 100,000 persons, the average years of schooling for people aged 15 and above increased from 9.08 years to 9.91 years, and the illiteracy rate dropped from 4.08 percent to 2.67 percent. The continued improvement of the educational attainment demonstrated the achievements in promoting higher education, eradicating illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults and raising the population quality through hard efforts over the past ten years.
7. Urban and Rural Population. There were 901.99 million persons living in urban areas, accounting for 63.89 percent; 509.79 million persons living in rural areas, accounting for 36.11 percent. Compared with 2010, the urban population increased by 236.42 million and the rural population decreased by 164.36 million. The share of urban population went up by 14.21 percentage points. With the in-depth development of China’s new industrialization, informatization and agricultural modernization, and the implementation of the policy to help people who have relocated from rural to urban areas to gain permanent urban residency, China’s new urbanization has been advanced steadily and the urbanization construction has scored historical achievements over the past ten years.
8. Floating Population. The number of population who lived in places other than their household registration areas reached 492.76 million. Specifically, the population who lived in places other than their household registration but still in the same city totaled 116.94 million and the floating population numbered 375.82 million. Of the floating population, the population moving to other provinces reached 124.84 million. Compared with 2010, the population who lived in places other than their household registration areas went up by 88.52 percent, the population who lived in places other than their household registration but still in the same city up by 192.66 percent, and the floating population up by 69.73 percent. China’s continued economic and social development has facilitated the population migration and mobility, the trends of which have become increasingly evident, and the size of floating population has further grown.
9. Population of Ethnic Groups. The population of the Han ethnic group was 1,286.31 million, accounting for 91.11 percent; that of the ethnic minorities was 125.47 million, accounting for 8.89 percent. Compared with 2010, the population of the Han ethnic group grew by 4.93 percent, while that of the ethnic minorities increased by 10.26 percent, and the share of the ethnic minorities increased by 0.40 percentage points. The steady increase of the population of the ethnic groups fully reflected the comprehensive development and progress of all ethnic groups under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
The population issue has always been an issue of overall, long-term and strategic importance in China. The Seventh National Population Census has offered a good understanding of the size, structure and distribution of China's population, mapped accurately the trends of the demographic changes, and provided abundant and valuable information. We are working hard to compile, analyze and develop the census data, and will follow up with more ways to publish and share the census results. We will collaborate with relevant departments to strengthen the forward-looking and strategic study on population development. All these efforts will make full use of the census and provide strong statistical information support to advance high-quality development, formulate targeted strategies and policies on population, and facilitate the long-term balanced population development.
On behalf of the Office of the Leading Group of the State Council for the Seventh National Population Census and the National Bureau of Statistics of China, I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to the census agencies at all levels and census staff who fought on the front lines. Over seven million census staff worked hard and rose to challenges with a strong sense of responsibility and initiative despite the impact of the COVID-19. They have completed the field enumeration on time and covered all houses, households, respondents and items in each enumeration area. It is because of their work that the results of the Seventh National Population Census can stand the test of history and people. I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all sectors of society and respondents who participated in and supported the census with a spirit of cooperation. Thanks to the 1.4 billion people who performed their census duties and provided authentic information with the ownership spirit of “Population Census, Everyone Counts”, the strong cornerstone of the Seventh National Population Census of such a scale was formed. I would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to all friends from the news media involved in census promotion. Your all-round publicity inspired and encouraged the census staff with their confidence and motivation boosted, helped the respondents to know, understand and thus render support and cooperation to the population census. Without your dedication and diligence, the Seventh National Population Census would not have been so successful. Thank you again!
 The national population refers to the population of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government and servicemen of the Chinese mainland, excluding residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and foreigners living in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government.
(In case of any difference between English translation and the original Chinese text, the Chinese edition shall prevail.)
Edited and translated by Bao Lianying