News & AnalysisDemography

China's Population Growing Slowly, Changing Fast

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Science  06 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6030, pp. 650-651
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6030.650

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China's population has long been something of a magic number for the rest of the world. Marketers rhapsodize about selling to 1.3 billion consumers, while agronomists worry about whether those 1.3 billion mouths will have enough to eat. Preliminary figures from the 2010 census released last week show that the country is still growing. But the census also reveals trends that could reshape the world's view of China—and perhaps even trigger changes in the government's controversial one-child policy.