Analysis on the age structure of minority population in China: based on the theory of stable population

ZHANG Liping1 WANG Guangzhou2

(1.Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
(2.Institute of Population and Labor Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

【Abstract】Based on the theory of stable population, this paper uses census data to analyze the age structure of minority population in China. The study shows that, compared with Han ethnic group, whose benchmark ratio has declined dramatically to below 1.0, the benchmark ratio of minority population is still above 1.0. There is an enlarging gap between the benchmark ratios of different minorities, and the variation increases over time. Although the age structure of minority population still belongs to the growth type, its development process is lagged behind Han ethnic group by about 10 years. Among the minorities with population over one million, six of them have changed population age structure into the stable or decreasing type. Although the population momentum of minorities is much larger than that of Han ethnic group, it assumes a downward trend over time as well, in spite of its fluctuations sometimes. Viewing from the population age structure, Han, Korean and Manchu ethnic groups will have very serious challenges of rapid population decline. Other minorities have begun the process of population transition as well, albeit at different stages at present. They will be unavoidably on the path toward low fertility as Han ethnic group already did.

【Keywords】 minority; stable population; benchmark ratio; population momentum;


【Funds】 Major Project of the National Social Science Fund of China (16ZDA079) Major Project of the National Social Science Fund of China (16ZDA090)

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(Translated by S.G.)


    [1]. ① Since birth data by ethnic group cannot be obtained in some census years, 0-year-old population is used for approximation. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1043/C

Vol , No. 01, Pages 88-100+128

February 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Research background
  • 2 Research method and data source
  • 3 Changes in the benchmark ratios of birth population of different ethnic groups
  • 4 The transformation of ethnic minority population structure
  • 5 Population momentum of ethnic minorities
  • 6 Research conclusions and discussions
  • Footnote