Beijing, Feb 28 (IANS) Wondering how many people does the world's most populous country have? Well, China has a mind-boggling 1.34 billion people, latest official statistics show.
Neighbour India stands second in the global population tally with an estimated figure of 1.2 billion.
China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Monday said that preliminary data showed the country had 1.341 billion people at the end of 2010.
At the end of 2009, the figure stood at 1.335 billion while in 2008, it was 1.328 billion, Xinhua reported.
China is scheduled to release the final count in April, which is based on the country's sixth national population census, the NBS said in a statistics bulletin on the country's national economy and social development for the year of 2010.
The population of China's farmer-turned workers increased 5.4 percent year-on-year to 242.23 million at the end of last year, while the number of rural workers working outside their hometowns rose 5.5 percent from 2009 to top 153.35 million, the NBS said.
Despite the increase in the number of rural workers, labour shortages have recently been felt in many of China's manufacturing hubs.
According to the NBS report, although China overtook Japan last year to be the world's second largest economy, it still had 26.88 million people living below the poverty line in the country's rural areas.
The figure of rural people living below poverty line was 9.09 million less compared to that in 2009.