Immediately after the release of China’s seventh census data on the morning of May 11, questions were raised by all sides, focusing on the population growth and death figures associated with last year. Anyone with some mathematical and logical thinking skills would easily see the problem with the data being illogical. A series of online articles titled “Three Essays on Population Confusion” published by the “Data Collection Office”, using data released by the official website of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) over the years to compare the data of the seventh census, raised several obvious points of data falsification, and then compared the data against the response of the NBS, putting the official data in an embarrassing situation that defies basic logic. This puts the official data in a difficult situation that defies basic logic. The article also makes an indirect reference to the CCP virus epidemic that occurred in 2020, which makes readers ask more questions in their heads: How many people died in China during the epidemic last year?
A question about population confusion
The first article published on May 11 reads: “The Data Collection Service: The Population Puzzle”.
Note that since this article is titled “Population Confusion”, it implies that there are logical inconsistencies in the overall data. In order to explain the problem thoroughly, I must start from the very basics. The official website of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) today released the data of the 7th Census of 2020, Bulletin 1-8.
According to this census bulletin, we get some key data: the total population of the country in 2020 is 141.78 million (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), up a whopping 11.73 million from 14.05 million in 2019. Note that the data for 2019 are the results of the Population Sample Survey. This population sample survey is conducted every year except for the decennial census, with a 1% sample in years with 5 and a 1 per 1,000 sample in other years. Since China has fully realized the electronicization of personal information in recent years, except in rare cases, the public security department can open the computer and access the detailed household registration information, cell phone information and social security information of every person in the country. This personal electronic information system has effectively assisted the conduct of sample population surveys, which can focus their limited efforts on such variables as births, deaths, and relocations, and thus produce highly credible data each year. Even for the over-born population, a birth certificate can be issued first, and fines can be paid later, so there is little point in concealing the population. Understanding this background, let’s then extract the total population, the population aged 15-64, and the population aged 65 or older from the current census data and merge them into the larger table from 1990 to the present. Here, the incongruity comes through.
The country’s new population over the years was 16.29 million in 1990 and has declined year by year since then. Starting in 2000 the new population dropped below 10 million to 9.57 million, and in 2010 the new population continued to drop to 6.41 million. Note that there were censuses in all these years and the downward trend in the number of new population is very obvious. after 2010, China liberalized the second child in steps, so the number of new population was repeated, reaching a stage peak of 8.09 million in 2016, but then began to shrink rapidly thereafter, with only 4.67 million population increments in 2019. Considering that China has fully implemented electronic household registration information after 2016, this means that the sampled population data after 2016 is already very credible, and it is also very obvious that the population after the liberalization of the second child has entered a shrinking trend again.
Yet the 2020 census data came out of nowhere and the country added 11.73 million people that year! That’s a staggering, dizzying 11.73 million, a 151.2% increase over the 4.67 million new people added in 2019! For that kind of increase, it is so sharp that one doesn’t know what to make of it.
For this sudden population increase, we certainly need to dig into the root cause. Interestingly, the working-age population aged 15-64, instead of growing, has declined, from 989.1 million in 2019 to 967.76 million in 2020, an annual decline of 2.16%, which leads to a decline in the share of the working-age labor force in 2020 to 63.1% after deducting school students, a regression to the level of the 1980s. This decline is in line with our consistent understanding that, after all, each year’s new population is declining and the population is aging, which must lead to a decline in the total labor force. So it is quite normal that the working-age population, minus school students, declines all the way down after peaking at 935.66 million in 2014, and continues to decline to 890.19 million in 2020, equivalent to the 2007 labor force level.
The spoof, however, is the sudden spike in the number of seniors over 65: 190.64 million in 2020, up 14.61 million from 176.03 million in 2019. The annual increase in the elderly population was previously 9 million in this range, and even if it is a little more in 2020, 10 million out of the top, to reach 14.61 million this order of magnitude, so I really can not understand. 2020 new elderly people aged 65 years or older, that is, those born in 1955. 1955 China’s birth rate suddenly skyrocketed round? Several million more people were born that year than in 1954? Based on this question, I checked the birth rate of the 1950s in the database of the National Bureau of Statistics official website and cut a graph by hand (see below). The conclusion is very clear: the birth rate in 1955 was 32.60‰, much lower than the 37.97‰ in 1954; the natural population growth rate was 20.32‰, also much lower than the 24.79‰ in 1954. both the birth rate and the natural population growth rate in 1955 were significantly lower than in 1954. So, I really don’t personally know where the sudden increase of 16.41 million people over 65 years old in 2020 comes from.
It is important to mention here that in 1955 our total population was 614.65 million, with 20.04 million births that year. I’ve bolded and enlarged this data, and I hope you’ll remember this data, we’ll use it again later.
Let’s move on to an in-depth analysis of the origin of population increment. There is no doubt that population increment = new births for the year – deaths. 2020 birth and death rates are not published in the current census bulletin, perhaps they will be published in the future in the census detail database, but in any case they are not visible yet. But that’s okay, we’re good at math and have data from previous years so we can figure it out ourselves.
The current census bulletin releases the age composition of the population in 2020.
The key figure is the total number of people aged 0-14, 253.38 million. As it happens, I have collected the number of births for each previous year, and the total number of births from 2006-2019 is 227.38 million. Let’s assume that none of these children will die young, all of them will be healthy babies, angel babies, and deducting them, we arrive at the births in 2020: 253.38 million – 227.38 million = 26 million. A very auspicious figure.
Well, now that we have the annual additions for 2020, 11.73 million, and the births, 26 million, we can back calculate the deaths for 2020: 2600-1173 = 14.27 million.
Next we put this same set of data into the data table of birth and death rates from 1990 to the present for you to feel.
The birth rate in 2020 is suddenly at 18.41 per 1,000 population, back to the level of the early 1990s. I won’t explain this data much, it’s just very impressive in short. The key is the death data, 14.27 million people died in 2020, far exceeding the previous level of nearly 10 million. The death rate of 8.30 per 1,000 is also well above the average of the last decade of less than 5 per 1,000. What’s going on here?
The more critical problem is that there is a very serious logical inconsistency between this death data and the elderly population data. 16.41 million people over 65 years of age were added to the population in 2020, and 14.27 million people died in that year. The death population in our country today is basically older people, and the death rate of young people is still very low, which we still have to believe, after all, it is common sense. So, this means that in 2020 there must be more than 30 million elderly people supplemented into the group of people over 65 years old in order to achieve the growth of the data of the aging population and to achieve the self-consistent data logic!
However, the most incomprehensible thing happened: the population born in China in 1955 was 2004 million, even if these people survived the subsequent poor tossing and turning, none of them died in the middle, and then after the reform and opening up, they survived the inflation wave in the early 1990s and the layoff wave in the late 1990s intact, and then worked until retirement without a single one left, and lived until now, but also Nowhere near enough to make up the 30 million!
So, as far as the 2020 population data is concerned, I really don’t know what to analyze. There is a logical and strong correlation between data and data. Trying to optimize any of the data would have a huge impact on the whole chain of data logic. In the case of the 2020 census data, I personally lack the ability to smooth out this impact. I hope that there will be another data guru born in China besides me who can analyze the whole chain of population data and solve all my above doubts perfectly. If there is, I hope you can leave me a message in the background of this public number so that I can see it. Thank you!
Population Confusion Reanalyzed
After the above article was blocked, the author published “Data Collection Service｜Population Data Reanalysis” on the 12th, and made a more accurate calculation of last year’s death data according to the birth data verbally given by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Statistics Bureau verbally gave last year’s new birth population of 12 million, according to this birth population data, then let’s do a simple calculation problem, the death population is equal to the birth population of 12 million minus the incremental population of 11.73 million, the result is 270,000, that is, according to the current figures given by the National Bureau of Statistics to calculate the total number of deaths in the epidemic years nationwide is 270,000, while the total number of deaths nationwide in normal years of 2017; 2018; and 2019 were 9.88 million, 9.93 million, and 9.98 million, respectively, can you believe that the number of deaths in the years of the epidemic outbreak suddenly dropped by more than 97% compared to the normal years? We have not forgotten either the far underestimated number of people who died from the new coronavirus, or even more so, those who died from routine illnesses that could not be treated in time because of the city closure.
I really don’t know what to analyze about the fact that only 270,000 people died in 2020. This is probably due to people paying special attention to health during last year’s new crown, huh?
In response to the National Bureau of Statistics then gave some explanations for the logical “lack of self-consistency” in the data, such as the previous year’s data is a sample survey data, some population omissions.
The article said, in fact, after the electronic registration information, the sample survey has been accurate enough, but we will not dwell on this matter. So, which years are the data distorted?
The article says that population growth never comes out of thin air, it must come from births-deaths. A very important message: the NBS clearly stated in the press release the number of births for 2016-2020, which means that the NBS is not going to revise the birth data for those years upwards. The only possibility, then, if the population increase in the previous years was undercounted, is that the deaths of recent years were overcounted.
But God forbid, there is really no possibility of overcounting the population death data in China. This data is aggregated by the health and public security departments and is based on “death certificates”. It is possible to miss some of the deaths in remote areas, but never more, much less the possibility of overcounting by 10 million. What do you think the health department is trying to do by issuing tens of millions of death certificates? Is that a possibility?
The article concludes by saying, “So, personally, I just can’t understand where this 10 million population increase came from out of nowhere. It must be the result of the number of births – deaths. The number of births will not be revised upwards, and the possibility of a bubble in the number of deaths is very slim. I especially hope that there is another data guru in China besides me who can explain the logic of this data and solve this insignificant doubt of mine. Thank you.
Three questions on population confusion
On the issue of census data, as the National Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China has responded to the aforementioned two consecutive articles spaced out and posted on the official website at http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/zxfb/202105/t20210512_1817360.html. The author has posted a third article on the 14th, also The last one, “Data Collection Service｜Three Discussions on the Confusion of Population
The author said, “Since your National Bureau of Statistics has officially responded, can my first article that was pinned down also be restored to me by the way? The more we study and discuss, the clearer the reasoning, you gagged me and then made the gesture of discussing with me, this gesture is not very generous, right?
In response to the response of the National Bureau of Statistics: Except for the decennial census, the sample surveys in other years are inaccurate, missing the population, cumulatively missing a whole 10 million people. The author says: my first question is: those hidden tens of millions of people, they have ID numbers or not **? **If these tens of millions of people actually do not have ID numbers for a long time, then how did they live for so many years? How did they deal with social security, health care, banking and transportation? Where exactly do they live? What have the public security and civil affairs departments been doing all these years? Why is it that there are tens of millions of black households and these two departments have remained indifferent?
If we compare the sub-provincial data on the current census bulletin, with the population data released by the provinces in 2019, we have compared them. There is no doubt that the provinces with the largest annual increases are the ones that have hidden their populations in the sample surveys of the past years. The data table is below. Please read the table below with a guess as to whether the tens of millions of black households are hidden in the deep woods of the Midwest.
The results of the data comparison are incredible: according to the results of the seventh census in 2020, Guangdong hides 10.8 million people, Zhejiang hides 6.07 million people, and Jiangsu hides 4.05 million people, totaling more than 20 million. The population growth in the central and western regions is not large, and there are even 15 provinces with negative growth. After the positive and negative offset, there are still a full 10 million people hidden. I am very curious is, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, in the end how to hide the 20 million people? These three wealthy provinces, that is really out of the home must use ID cards, no ID card is difficult to travel, how do these 20 million people do not have ID cards long-term survival? What is the reason ah? Is there such a strong ability to survive ah?
Checking further, in 2020 there are 18.46 million more children, 14.61 million more elderly and 21.34 million fewer people in the labor force, the result of which is a total population increase of 11.73 million. So the population that is hidden is mainly children and the elderly.
Combining the data from the two tables, so what the National Bureau of Statistics means is: Guangdong, Zhejiang and Suzhou provinces, hidden tens of millions of old people and children. Through the seventh census, these hidden populations were finally unearthed. To this conclusion, do you believe it or not?
I will not say much about children, these three provinces actually have tens of millions of children born without a birth certificate, is also out of my expectation. The key is, how did the elderly in these three provinces hide down? How did they survive this lifetime of blackness?
The author concludes by saying, sorry, I personally really lack enough imagination to understand this issue. After all, there will always be a strong logical connection between data and data. Logic, or logic! The most important thing, is always logic!