More Chinese people are moving to economically developed regions and city clusters in the eastern region, the country's latest census shows.
People living in more-developed East China make up 39.93 percent of the total mainland population, up 2.15 percentage points compared with 2010, according to the seventh national census, which was released on Tuesday.
The census also shows those residing in the central region of China constitute 25.83 percent of the total, a 0.79 percentage point decline, and those in western regions are 27.12 percent of the total, up by 0.22 percentage point compared with a decade ago.
Meanwhile, the proportion of residents in Northeast China fell by 1.2 percentage points during the same period.
According to the census, among the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, only two－Guangdong and Shandong provinces－have more than 100 million residents. There are nine with a population between 50 million and 100 million, and 17 have a population between 10 million and 50 million.
Three－the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Qinghai province and the Tibet autonomous region－have fewer than 10 million residents.
From 2000 to 2010, only four regions or cities experienced a decline in the number of residents－Guizhou, Sichuan and Hubei provinces and Chongqing.
However, over the past decade, the number of provinces or regions that experienced population declines increased to six. They are Gansu, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Most of these provinces and regions are either located in Northeast China, the former heavy industry center of the country, or their economic development is greatly reliant on natural resources, according to an analysis posted on the Sina Financial website.
The analysis added that at the start of the 21st century, many people living in southwestern China relocated to coastal regions in the southeastern region of the country for better job opportunities, leading to a brain drain in some areas.
But in recent years, those provinces and regions have seized opportunities to better develop their economies and upgrade industries, bringing some people back to their hometowns and attracting a growing number of young people to work and settle down there.
Some places in northern regions of China have fallen behind in this regard and have become less attractive to young talent, the analysis said.