China says population grew last year

China's population grew by 8.1 million people, or 0.63 percent, last year to a total of 1.307 billion people, the State Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday.

There were 106.3 men for every 100 women, the bureau said on its Web site.

The figures are the result of the "1 Percent Sample", a government mini-census of some 17 million people that was conducted midway between a nationwide census done once each decade.

The lopsided male-female ratio is believed to be the result of female infanticide in a society that highly values boys and where most couples are legally allowed only one child.

Independent experts believe the total population figure is higher than reported and that the male-female ratio is even more lopsided, with as many as 120 men to 100 women in some areas, reports the AP.


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