Beijing: A recent data shows an annual average population growth of 0.57 percent over the past decade (2000-2010) on the Chinese mainland, compared with the growth rate of 1.07 percent from 1990 to 2000.

The report claimed that China's population has gone up by 1.37 billion, including 1.3397 billion on the mainland, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.

The new population figure for the mainland was 73.9 million more than that of 2000, when China conducted its fifth national census, according to data from the sixth census released by NBS.

The data shows an annual average population growth of 0.57 percent over the past decade (2000-2010) on the Chinese mainland, compared with the growth rate of 1.07 percent from 1990 to 2000.

China's ageing population is increasing quickly while the birth rate remains low, Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics told a media briefing on Thursday.

He said the sixth national population census showed 16.6 percent of the country's population was aged 14 or younger.

The figure was 6.29 percentage points lower than that in the 2000 census.

The latest census also found the proportion of Chinese people aged 60 or above took up 13.26 percent of the total, 2.93 percentage points higher than that in the 2000 census, Ma
added.

Chinese President Hu Jintao had said few days ago that the country set to continue three decade old one child policy as it yielded rich dividend by keeping the population growth
under control.

Chinese officials claim that the one child policy has helped to prevent over 300 million births.

Meanwhile, the proportion of Han Chinese residing on the mainland had dropped to 91.51 percent, or 0.08 percentage points lower than that in 2000 when China conducted its previous national census.

Statistics on population in China's Hong Kong and Macao were provided by those regions.

Agencies