BEIJING - China's mainland population grew to 1.339 billion by 2010, according to census figures released on Thursday, up 5.9 percent from the 1.265 billion at the last census in 2000, and lower than the 1.4 billion population some demographers had projected for the latest count.
The census results also showed that China, the world's second-biggest economy after the United States, is rapidly urbanizing, with nearly half the population -- 49.7 percent -- living in urban areas.
In 2000, 36.09 percent of Chinese lived in cities, although that census used a different counting method.
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