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Guangdong remains the most populous province in China

Updated: Apr 14, 2023 Print
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Photo taken on Sept 16, 2020 shows the night view of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Data released by provincial regions across the country show that Guangdong remains the largest province in terms of population and has the highest number of births, reported on Friday.

According to a bulletin released by Guangdong, the permanent population of the province at the end of 2022 was about 126.57 million, while the number of newborn babies throughout the year was around 1.05 million.

For three consecutive years, Guangdong has been the only province with more than 1 million newborn babies each year, making it the top province in terms of fertility for five consecutive years. Shandong, the second-largest province in terms of population, recorded 682,200 births in 2022, while Henan, which has the third-largest population, registered 733,000 births, both of which did not reach the one million mark.

As per the National Bureau of Statistics, the total number of newborns in China in 2022 was 9.56 million. Based on these statistics, Guangdong contributed 11 percent of the country's total number of births.

Feng Wenmeng, director of the Research Office of the Institute for Public Administration and Human Resource at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said: "Guangdong has been a major destination for population inflows in the country since the launch of reform and opening-up. The large number of young people that moved to Guangdong added to its comparatively young age profile, and given the age group, they got married and started families, which explains the higher birth rates."

In terms of population growth, Zhejiang continued to rank first. According to data from the Zhejiang Statistics Bureau, the province had a permanent population of 65.77 million as of the end of 2022, an increase of 370,000 from the 65.4 million at the end of 2021.

The data show that the province also had the highest net population growth in 2021, with the total number of permanent residents increasing by 720,000.

As the fourth-largest economy in the country, Zhejiang has been making every effort to attract talent in recent years, and its attraction to talent is growing.

According to Feng, Zhejiang's private economy has been particularly dynamic for a long time, and the platform economy has developed rapidly in recent years, creating a large number of employment opportunities that attract new talent.

In addition, Zhejiang has made significant efforts in institutional reforms, including household registration, and has a relatively high level of public services. The regional development is relatively balanced, becoming the first demonstration zone for common prosperity, which has further enhanced its attractiveness to the talent.

Besides, despite a decrease in the nation's population by 850,000 people by the end of 2022, more than half of the provincial regions still have a growing permanent population.

Many of these regions are located in central and western China, such as Anhui, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Guizhou, Gansu, Qinghai, Chongqing, Yunnan, and Sichuan.

Feng said that on the one hand, compared to the eastern region, the overall fertility rate in the central and western regions is relatively higher. On the other hand, in recent years, the attraction for talent in the central and western regions has been further strengthened.

With the gradual transfer of industries to the central and western regions and the increase of local job opportunities, the return of migrant workers to their hometowns has made a positive contribution to the mechanical growth of the population. In addition, the economic growth of some provinces in the central and western regions has been relatively fast, which has further enhanced their ability to attract population.

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