National Bureau of Statistics responds to doubts on the data of the most recent population census
Published: May 13, 2021 01:32 AM
China's 7th National Population Census Infographic: Xu Zihe/GT

China's 7th National Population Census Infographic: Xu Zihe/GT

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) responded on Wednesday to some questions and doubts from Chinese netizens about the reliability of the data of the seventh national population census

The NBS explained the reasons that lead to the discrepancies shown in different demographic statistics in an article published on the its website on Wednesday.

The latest national census showed that, at the end of 2020, there were a total of 253.38 million people aged between 0 and 14 in the Chinese mainland.

The number was questioned by some netizens who said it was higher than the total sum of newborns over the past 14 years which is 226.89 million, according to the data released by the government each year.

This discrepancy was mainly caused by the different sources of the two sets of data, the NBS responded in the article.

The national census is a full-scale survey and collection of data is conducted every decade, while the annual population data comes from surveys and estimates that might be inaccurate, it explained.

The rate of those who did not participate in the most recent census was only 0.05 percent thanks to the people's support and the new techniques being used, the NBS said. That's partly why the census number was higher because it "included many people who had missed the previous surveys," it added.

Another reason that might lead to the data discrepancy was that some netizens only added the number of newborns of the previous 14 years and "the 0-14 age [group] actually covers 15 years," said the bureau.

The bureau also reminded people to make comparisons between the seventh and sixth censuses based on the same data groups. 

Both of the two censuses offered the population numbers of two groups: one included people in the 31 provinces of the Chinese mainland, the other added the population of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions, the NBS said.

The population of Chinese mainland grew to 1.412 billion in 2020, according to the seventh national census.