Population distribution by broad age group in China 2019

The graph shows the population distribution in China in 2019, by broad age group. In 2019, about 64.0 percent of the population was between 16 and 59 years old. Apart from the information given on broad age groups in this statistic, some more information is provided by a timeline for the age distribution and a population breakdown by smaller age groups.

Demographic development in China – additional information

China ranked as the most populous country in the world with a population of nearly 1.4 billion as of mid 2019, followed closely by India with roughly 1.39 billion inhabitants. As the world population reached around 7.69 billion in mid 2019, China represented almost one fifth of the global population. China’s population increased exponentially between the 1950s and the early 1980s due to Mao Zedong’s population policy. To tackle the problem of overpopulation, a one-child policy was implemented in 1979. Since then, China’s population growth has slowed from more than two percent per annum in the 1970s to around 0.5 percent per annum in the 2000s.

One outcome of the strict population policy is the acceleration of demographic aging trends. According to the United Nations, China’s population median age had risen by 91 percent over the last four and a half decades, from 19.2 years in 1970 to 36.7 years in 2015. Few countries have aged faster than China. The dramatic aging of the population is matched by slower growth. The total fertility rate, measuring the number of children a woman can expect to have in her life, stood at just around 1.6 children. This incremental decline in labor force could lead to future challenges for the Chinese government, causing instability in current health care and social insurance mechanisms. To learn more about demographic development of the rural and urban population in China, please take a look at our dossiers on population in China and aging population in China.

Population distribution in China in 2019, by broad age group

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period


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