"The population of China amounted to 1.37 billion people in 2015 and, according to the forecasts, the peak level will be 1.45 billion in future. It will amount to 1.38 billion in 2050, corresponding to the current level," Li said at a news conference.
According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country's population amounted to 1.37 billion people in 2015. In accordance with a draft five-year plan on socio-economic development, presented at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress (NPC) session on Saturday, the Chinese population is expected to total 1.42 billion by 2020.
China initiated a one-child-per-couple policy in the 1970s and adopted it in 1980 to counter overpopulation, with severe fines for couples having two or more children. This policy has led to such demographic problems as gender imbalance and aging of the population.
Beijing eased child birth regulations in 2013, allowing couples in several regions to have two children without paying fines if both parents were the only children in their families.
At the end of 2015, all couples in the country were allowed to have two children.
The draft plan on socio-economic development envisages positive changes in the spheres of family planning, healthcare for mothers and children and newborns registration system.