The current population of Beijing according to the 2010 census, as reported by the official Chinese Government statistics agency, was 19,612,368. The population at the beginning of 2016, according to some estimates, is 21.7 million.
Along with the greater China population, the population of Beijing has also been growing at breakneck speed. In the ten years between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, the number of people living in the city grew by 44% - from 13,569,194 in 2000 to 19,612,368 in 2010. Although this last ten years have seen the most rapid growth in the city's modern history, the city has been consistently growing at a fast pace - the average growth rate since the 1960s has been around 20% per decade.
Even today, the city continues to grow. Although there are no official estimates of the population of Beijing in 2016, unofficial estimates put the population at over 21 million. The country's Five-Year Plan, which began in 2016, is expected to keep the population under 23 million through 2020. Some experts believe that in 2050 there will be more than 50 million people living in Beijing.
Is Beijing the largest city in China?
Although Beijing is the capital city of China, there are larger cities in the country. Shanghai is home to over 24 million people in 2016 and is considered to be China's largest city.
Others, however, argue that Chongqing, a municipality of 28,846,200 in the center of China is technically China's largest city. This is because, although the urban population of Chongqing is only 6-7 million, a municipality is considered to be the equivalent of a city under Chinese law.
If we take Chongqing out of the equation, Beijing is the second largest country in China and the 11th largest city in the world, behind countries including Shanghai, Istanbul, Karachi, Mumbai, and Moscow.
Beijing population by city district
Here's a map of the city, broken down into its administrative districts. Those in yellow were part of the old city, while red denotes the central urban area of the city. Inner suburbs are indicated in blue, and outer suburbs in green.
Here's a table listing the population of each Beijing district.
|District||Population||Density (per sq/km)|
The primary ethnic group in Beijing is, as in the rest of the country, Han Chinese. According to the 2010 census, 95.69% of Beijing's residents (excluding anyone from the Red Army) were Han Chinese. Of the remaining 4.31%, the two largest groups are the Manchu (1.84%) and the Hui (1.74%). The rapid economic expansion means that the number of foreigners living in the city is also increasing (notably, approximately 200,000 South Koreans), although there are no accurate statistics available on their populations.
Beijing is the powerhouse of the Chinese economy. Its nominal GDP in 2011 was $247.7 billion, which equates to a per capita GDP of $12,447. Tianjin ($13,058) and Shanghai ($12,783) are the only Chinese cities to have a higher per capita GDP. The city's economy is growing by around 8-10% per year at the moment, so these figures will probably increase still further in the coming years.
Increased wealth and regularly improving healthcare means that life expectancy in Beijing also continues to grow, and is among the highest in the country. Figures indicate that the average life expectancy is 81.12 years – that breaks down as a male life expectancy of 79.16 years and a female life expectancy of 83.17.
Age breakdown data is only available for 2004. At that time, 9.96% of the population was aged 0-14, 78.92% were aged 15-64, and 11.12% were aged 65 or over.
There was a 44% positive growth over the previous decade between the censuses.