China is set to introduce a population projection and assessment mechanism to better guide government decision-making in resource allocation and reproduction policies, according to a national political adviser.
Chen Xiaohong, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions that the new initiative is based on a population administration system held by the commission and expected to become operational by 2015.
At present, China has only the population census, which is conducted across the nation every 10 years.
"That could hardly meet the government's need to understand population dynamics and to make forecasts to better guide decision-making and public service management," he said.
In assessing the distribution of social resources such as education, elder care and housing, planners would find it helpful to have detailed data at hand for "more accurate and practical decision-making", he said.
In addition, China has been constantly fine-tuning its reproduction policy. That should be based on scientific and more accurate forecasting of population developments, he said.
Worldwide, industrial countries including the United States, Japan, and South Korea have specialized institutions of the government to conduct population estimates and to interpret and publicize data.
Starting in 1973, the US Census Bureau began making population estimates to help the government plan things like subsidies and infrastructure.