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Population

China is the most populous country in the world, with 1.25 billion people at the end of 1999, about 22 percent of the world's total. This figure does not include many Chinese in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taiwan Province and Macao Special Administrative Region. The population density in China is 130 people per sq km. This population, however, is unevenly distributed. Along the densely populated east coast there are more than 400 people per sq km; in the central areas, over 200; and in the sparsely populated plateaus in the west there are less than 10 people per sq km. The population in cities and towns makes up 30.4 percent; and that in rural areas, 69.6 percent. The male population is 50.8 percent; and the female population is 49.2 percent. People 14 years or younger make up 25.7 percent; those from 15 to 64, 67.6 percent; and those 65 or older, 6.7 percent.


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