China's New Demographic Reality: Learning from the 2010 Census
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Population Council, Inc.
Population and Development Review
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 371–396, September 2013
How to Cite
Cai, Y. (2013), China's New Demographic Reality: Learning from the 2010 Census. Population and Development Review, 39: 371–396. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00608.x
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2013
China conducted its sixth modern census in 2010, recording a total of 1.34 billion people. This article presents an overview of the early census results. The data are of reasonable quality but contain some apparent defects where adjustments may be required. The census confirms that China has entered the era of demographic modernity and depicts the vast transformation of the country's rural-urban distribution. Life expectancy has risen by 3–4 years in the decade since the last census, while fertility remains well below replacement—probably as low as 1.5 births per woman—and the sex ratio at birth is still significantly elevated. Low fertility and falling old-age mortality are leading to continued and rapid population aging. Several coastal provinces grew by as much as 40 percent in the last decade, while a number of inland provinces have recorded population decline. China has reached an overall urban proportion of 50 percent.