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Population, Population Characteristics

Chinese Communist Party, fertility rate, CCP, annual growth rate, death rate

After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power in 1949, the government took a census to assess the human resources available for the first five-year plan, the state’s comprehensive economic and social development plan. The census, compiled in 1953, counted a population of 582,600,000. A second census, taken in 1964, showed an increase to 694,580,000. The third census, in 1982, revealed a population of 1,008,180,000, making China the first nation with a population of more than 1 billion. By 2002 China’s estimated population was 1,284,303,700.

While China’s population continues to grow, the growth rate has slowed in step with declining fertility and birth rates. The fertility rate (the average number of children born to each woman during her lifetime) declined from 6.2 in the early 1950s to 1.8 in 2002. The birth rate declined from about 45 births per 1,000 people in 1953 to an estimated 16 in 2002, and the death rate dropped from 22 per 1,000 people to an estimated 7. As a result, the annual growth rate declined from about 2.25 percent in 1953 to 0.87 percent in 2002. Nevertheless, at that rate China’s population still grows by millions of people each year. The most serious challenge created by such a large annual population increase is employing the millions of young people who enter the workforce each year. Although China’s economy has grown rapidly, especially since the early 1990s, it has not been able to provide enough good opportunities for all new workers, many of whom have only minimal education and skills.

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Chinese Communist Party, fertility rate, CCP, annual growth rate, death rate, census, birth rates, five-year plan, workforce, new workers, average number of children, births, lifetime, millions of young people, nation, percent, woman, power, government, skills, result, step, millions of people, increase, year


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