China's urban population set to surpass rural figure

BEIJING Sun Jul 4, 2010 8:27am IST

A resident smiles as he carries boxes of instant noodles provided by People's Liberation Army (PLA) under heavy rain in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province June 24, 2010. China's urban population is to surpass its rural population for the first time by 2015, Xinhua news agency reported. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

A resident smiles as he carries boxes of instant noodles provided by People's Liberation Army (PLA) under heavy rain in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province June 24, 2010. China's urban population is to surpass its rural population for the first time by 2015, Xinhua news agency reported.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's urban population is to surpass its rural population for the first time by 2015, with the number of Chinese living in towns and cities set to top 700 million, Xinhua news agency reported.

Li Bin, director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said that the world's most populous country is projected to have 1.39 billion citizens by 2015, up from 1.32 billion at the end of 2008, Xinhua quoted her as saying.

The number of people over 60 would pass 200 million, the first boom in the old-age population, she said. An average of 8 million are expected to turn 60 each year, 3.2 million more than the average in 2006-2010.

The population dependency ratio, the proportion of those too young or old to work, would rise for the first time after falling for over 40 years, while the ratio of those aged 15-59 would peak and then slowly fall.

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