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China's population growth slows as births drop sharply

Once-a decade census puts at risk nation's demographic dividend

People commute during the morning rush hour in the financial district on a polluted day in Beijing on March 4.   © AFP/Jiji

SHANGHAI -- China's annual population growth slowed during the decade through 2020, putting at risk the demographic dividend enjoyed by the rising superpower.

The National Population Census, a once-a-decade count, conducted last year showed the country's population reached 1,411,778,724, up from 1,339,724,852 ten years earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

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