Third National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
The Third National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (PRC), also referred to as the 1982 Chinese Census, was conducted by the People's Republic of China with a zero hour of 1 July 1982. A summary of the results were issued by the State Security Bureau and reported in the People's Daily on October 27, 1982.
Preparations for the census were begun in 1976, with fact-finding missions sent to the United States and Japan to review their methods. Computers were installed in every provincial capital except Tibet; these were linked to a central processing unit at the Beijing office of the State Statistical Bureau. Pretests and trial runs occurred in 1980 and 1981. It was not until after this census had begun that the second census of 1964 was officially acknowledged to have occurred at all. It had been an eighteen-year hiatus, and it wouldn't be until 1987 that China adopted a decennial plan, beginning with the 1990 census.
Approximately five million census takers interviewed a representative of each household in China over the month beginning 1 July 1982. In rural areas, census stations were located at production brigades.
The 1982 census removed the previous census's question about class status, but expanded other areas of inquiry. Nineteen demographic categories were covered, thirteen concerning individuals – name, relationship to the head of one's household, sex, age, ethnicity, registration status, educational level, profession, occupation, status if unemployed, marital status, number of living children, number of births in 1981 – and six concerning households – size, type (domestic or collective), serial number, number of births in 1981, number of deaths in 1981, and number of registered persons absent longer than one year.
The census found approximately 519,440,000 men and 488,740,000 women living in China, a ratio of 106.30 to 100.
The average household size was 4.41, almost unchanged since the previous census. 33.59% of the population was 14 or under; 61.50% of the population was between 15 and 64; and 4.91% of the population was 65 or older. Life expectancy was estimated to be 66.28 years for males and 69.27 years for females.
Early accounts listed an urbanized population of 206.59 million, but this was subsequently revised to 210,820,000. This urbanization rate of 20.91% was an increase of 2.61 percentage points from 1964.
|1964 Census||1982 Census||Change||% Change|
|Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region||20,845,017||36,420,960||15,585,943||74.77|
|Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region||12,348,638||19,274,279||6,925,641||56.08|
|Xizang Autonomous Region
|Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region||7,270,067||13,081,681||5,811,614||79.94|
Although praised as more accurate than the previous censuses in 1953 and 1964, the 1982 census suffered from irregularities as well. In particular, while the number of official cities shrank from previous lists, the urban population itself increased by more than 50% from a 1981 estimate of 138.70 million to the 1982 census total of 206.59 million.
Another anomaly was that birth and death rates recorded by the census and household registration system differed but arrived at similar totals. Both deaths and births were found to have been underreported to the registration system, to maintain rations allocated to the deceased and to avoid punishment for violations of the recent One-Child Policy.
The publication of the 1964 data also allowed mortality and survival rates of recent generations to be analyzed in greater detail, revealing an enormous fall-off in surviving children born during the Great Leap Forward as well as an equally large surge afterwards.
- Demographics of China
- Urbanization in the People's Republic of China
- First National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (1953)
- Second National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (1964)
- Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (2010)
- Aird, John S. "The Preparations for China's 1982 Census". The China Quarterly, No. 91 (Sept 1982), pp. 369-385. Cambridge University Press.
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- National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China. Cit. in Coutsoukis, Photius. Allcountries.org: "4-4 Basic Statistics on National Population Census in 1953, 1964, 1982, 1990 and 2000". 2006. Accessed 28 Mar 2012.
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