Beijing's population nears 20 million

Updated: 2011-05-05 13:55
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BEIJING - Beijing's population had risen to 19.6 million by Nov 1, 2010, with migrants from other provinces mainly contributing to the rapid growth, the city's statistics bureau said Thursday.

The number of Beijing's permanent residents is now 19.612 million, up by 44.5 percent or 6.043 million people from ten years ago, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. The statement cited figures from the sixth national census conducted last year.

Beijing's annual average population growth of 3.8 percent over the past 10 years has outpaced the national average of 0.57 percent, said the statement.

China's mainland population has increased to 1.34 billion, 73.9 million more than that of 2000, according to census data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The statement said migrants who have resettled from other provinces to Beijing are the main contributors to Beijing's population growth.

The number of permanent Beijing residents who originally come from other regions of China has doubled to 7.045 million, with an average annual growth rate of 10.6 percent and accounting for 35.9 percent of the city's total permanent residents. The ratio is a significant increase over the 18.9 percent from 10 years ago, according to the statement.

This means that one out of every three permanent Beijing residents is a migrant from outside of Beijing.

"Ten years ago, one in every five Beijing residents was a migrant, as opposed to one in three now. Beijing's population growth has skyrocketed because of the 'swarming in' of migrant people," said Gu Yanzhou, deputy director of the municipal statistics bureau.

The city's migrant influx will bring challenges to city managers in the future, according to Gu. However, Beijing's economic and social development also depends on new and innovative talents from other regions, as well as a steady supply of labor, Gu said.

In the meantime, the influx of migrants, who are largely between the ages of 15 and 60, has helped to alleviate Beijing's aging problem, Gu said.

According to last year's census data, Beijing has 1.71 million people aged 65 or above, accounting for 8.7 percent of the total population. That ratio is up 0.3 percentage points from 10 years ago, according to the statement.