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China population rises 15.23 million in 2018, but rate slows

In this Jan. 19, 2019, photo, a nurse checks on new-born babies under intensive care at a hospital in Fuyang in central China's Anhui province. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING (AP) -- China's population rose by 15.23 million people in 2018, marking a continued decrease in the growth rate of the world's most populous nation.

Numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday put the population at 1.395 billion in 2018, marking a growth rate of 3.81 percent.

The total included 30 million more men than women, considered a long-time outcome of the recently abandoned one-child policy under which boys were favored over girls for cultural reasons.

The government estimates China's population will peak at 1.442 billion in 2029 before beginning to decline the year after.

China added more than 17 million to its population in 2016 and 2017 following the scrapping of the one-child policy, but the effect hasn't endured.

Care for the elderly is a rising government concern.

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