[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News


China's 1.3bn people make up one-fifth of the world's population. But strict rules and changing lifestyles have led to lower growth rates. Most urban couples are bound by the "One Child" policy. Rural families are allowed a second child if their first-born is a girl. Many go to great lengths to ensure they have boys which officials believe is leading to a growing gender imbalance.

China is seeing a great movement of population from the rural interior to the cities in the east. In 1950, the urban population represented less than 13% of the total - it is now about 40% and is expected to reach 60% by 2030.

Graphs showing population growth and projections and China's rural and urban population


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific