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December 25, 2009

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City population eclipses 20m amidst baby boom

SHANGHAI'S population has surpassed 20 million, including 260,000 people from overseas, according to information released by the city's senior advisers.

The Shanghai committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference said more than 20.8 million people were now living in Shanghai.

The total number of registered residents reached nearly 14 million by the end of November, up about 3 percent from a year ago, it said.

The city's mobile population is down 2.37 percent from a year ago to 6.56 million and the number of people from overseas dropped 10.04 percent during the same period despite a 1.04 percent increase in the overall total.

This year's permanent population in Shanghai will increase by 0.3 percent, or 220,000, from 18.88 million last year, according to the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.

In addition to births, about 50,000 children and adults were expected to join the city's permanent population, the commission said.

Last year, the city's population grew year on year by 0.27 percent, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said.

Shanghai has a total of 11.29 million rooms registered, according to a city survey carried out in July focusing on both the city's housing and population.

Shanghai population authorities expect about 165,000 infants to be born among city residents this year, close to last year's figure and continuing a baby boom that started in 2007 and may last for another eight to 10 years.

Despite the surge in births, an increasing number of people say they want smaller families because of the high cost of child raising, the desire to continue the "double incomes, child-free" lifestyle, according to an earlier survey by the commission.

In the first eight months of this year, the city welcomed about 110,000 babies - 59,700 delivered by registered residents and 50,300 by out-of-towners who have lived in Shanghai for more than six months.

In 2006, the annual birth rate of the permanent population was 0.747 percent, and 134,201 babies were born. In 2007 this climbed to 0.907 percent with 166,600 births. Last year, the birth rate was 0.889 percent, with about the same number of infants born as in 2007.


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