China Says it Will Release Delayed Census Data This Week

China’s census results are finally set to be released this week, after a delay in the report sparked concern the population may have shrunk for the first time in modern records.

The National Bureau of Statistics will introduce findings at a press conference at 10 a.m. in Beijing on Tuesday, the State Council Information Office said in a statement.

China’s once-in-a-decade population report was supposed to be published sometime in April and the delay caused some to wonder whether the results were unpalatable. A declining population would have sweeping effects for the country, weighing on its economic growth and making it harder to pay for pensions and health care for the growing ranks of the elderly.

In a brief statement apparently designed to quash any speculation, the government late last month said China’s population had increased in 2020, but didn’t give any figures.

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