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A newborn being cared for in a neonatal care center at a hospital in Fuyang, Anhui, China, on April 25. Photo: SheldonCooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

China's population increased 72 million over the past 10 years to 1.41 billion in 2020, with an annual average growth rate of 0.53%, data published by the country's National Bureau of Statistics Tuesday shows.

Why it matters: It's the slowest population growth for over half a century. The birth rate also dropped for the fourth consecutive year in 2020, with 12 million babies born, raising the prospect of a "demographic crisis that could stunt growth in the world’s second-largest economy," per the New York Times.

Between the lines: China's government imposed a repressive one-child policy to slow population growth in 1979. It eased this limit on couples to two children in 2016.

The big picture: The census revealed the number of over 65s in China rose from 8.9% in 2010 to 13.5%, the number of children increased 1.35% and the working population remained steady.

  • Peking University population studies professor Lu Jiehua said "the fast decline in the working-age population" was a great concern, AP reports.
  • This group was three-quarters of 2011's total and was expected to fall to "just above half by 2050," Lu said.

Go deeper: U.S. population growth is on a downward slope

Go deeper

More than 400 U.S. counties are now minority white

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Connor Rothschild and Naema Ahmed/Axios

White, non-Hispanic Americans now account for less than six in 10 people in the U.S. — a more precipitous drop over the past decade than experts expected — and they're no longer the racial-ethnic majority in 13% of U.S. counties.

The big picture: America's identity is shifting with its population.

Charted: Dem advantage

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Bigger population jumps than expected in major cities. More diversity. Booming suburbs. Dwindling rural areas. All may make it harder — but not impossible — for Republicans to manipulate district lines to strengthen their power in states including Texas and Georgia, experts say.

Why it matters: The first results of the 2020 census are a balm for Democrats anxious about Republican gerrymandering efforts.

Between the lines: Some of the fastest-growing counties in the last decade are near blue cities in red states — like Hays and Comal counties in Texas and Bryan County, Georgia.

  • Meanwhile, almost all of the shrinking counties are moving toward Republicans, Claire Low, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee's targeting and analytics director, told Axios.
  • "If the maps are fair, Democrats will gain seats," NDRC president Kelly Burton told Axios.
  • The trends in Texas, where Republicans control redistricting, “basically makes the gerrymanders uglier and more complex," Texas Civil Rights Project staff attorney Joaquin Gonzalez told Axios.

What we're watching: Of note is just how much growth there's been in major cities like New York City and Chicago — both situated in states where Democrats control redistricting.

  • "It's better for Democrats that there are more seats going to the cities and that they can dilute the power of rural Republican areas in those states more easily," Cook Political Report's David Wasserman told Axios.
  • New York state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D), who represents western Queens, said the results make it likelier that redder, upstate areas — not blue New York City — lose a seat. He credited high population counts to city campaigns to get people to fill out the census — also protecting the state against losing more House seats.

So far, fears of a significant undercount of the Hispanic population due to the Trump administration's efforts to not count undocumented immigrants haven't played out in the data, Wasserman said.

  • That's another good sign for Democrats, who tend to be favored by Latino voters.

What's next: The Austin area has grown substantially over the decade — and Wasserman and Low say Texas Republicans may try to concentrate that population into already blue districts to keep surrounding GOP seats as red as possible.

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

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