China launches its 2020 census

China - Shanghai by night seen from space
China – Shanghai by night seen from space. Source: NASA

China has just launched its 2020 census. A vast operation carried out every ten years, with the help of 7 million census agents. In 2010, the country had counted 1,339,724,852 inhabitants, an increase of 73 million compared to 2000.

Current estimates still place China as the most populous country in the world, with over 1.4 billion inhabitants, ahead of India (1.37 billion in 2020). But the latter should soon become the first country in the world in terms of population, because its demographic growth is much more dynamic than its powerful neighbor to the north.

The particularity of this census concerns the abandonment of the one-child policy. Indeed, the country has decided to allow parents who wish to have several children in order to compensate for the aging of its population. However, the estimates do not show a strong growth in births, contrary to what the authorities had hoped for. The other important issue concerns the gender imbalance, a recurring problem in the country. Will the policies implemented to combat this scourge have had a significant impact?

This census should largely answer these questions. The government estimates that the number of inhabitants should be around 1.42 billion people at the end of this count.

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