Beijing had a population of 21.15 million at the end of last year, and municipal authorities said that changes to the capital's industrial structure would help curb population growth.
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics announced Thursday that permanent residents in the capital had increased by 455,000 in 2013, making the total population about 2.2 percent higher than it had been in 2012, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Xia Qinfang, deputy head of the bureau, declared that Beijing's population now includes 8.03 million migrants who have been in the city for over half a year.
Beijing's population has been growing more slowly since 2011, Xia said, adding that the slow growth in the population was related with slower growth of the economy.
According to Xia, another reason for the slow population growth is changes to employment structures. He cited a reduction in migrants working in labor-intensive industries in 2013.
The industries include lodging, catering, resident services and manufacturing.
The city should first stop the growth and then optimize the locations of the population, according to an official from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, the Legal Mirror reported.
The official said that the population control should not be achieved through administrative means, but through optimizing industrial structures and the market.
The population issue has been a hot topic among deputies at the annual sessions of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress and the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which finished on Wednesday.
Over the nine days, these deputies discussed the development of the city, and sought methods to solve urban problems, including the population issue, which appeared 182 times in their reports.
The city's Party chief Guo Jinlong said that when per capita GDP reaches $20,000, more people will flow to the city, and the city will need to consider how to ensure residents receive sufficient services such as education, healthcare and pensions.
The city will consider the problems for both long-term and recent residents, and should approach the issue of sustainable development via deeper reform, Guo said.
Mayor Wang Anshun said that this year the city will enhance measures to control the population and mitigate urban expansion, the Legal Mirror reported.
Global Times - Agencies