BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's demographic dividend still exists, and there is no need to over-interpret dipping population growth rate and birth rate, China's top statistics official said Monday.
Population in the mainland totaled 1.395 billion by the end of last year, up 5.3 million people and 3.81 thousandths year on year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
New births reached 15.23 million in 2018, with the birth rate dipping to 10.94 thousandths.
"Demographic data should be analyzed in a long-term perspective, and demographic structure changes with the development of economy and society and is a natural process," Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, told a press conference.
Demographic dividend refers to the economic potential resulting from shifts in a population's age structure in terms of working and non-working population.
Ning said China has a workforce pool of about 900 million people, with over 700 million of them in employment, posing certain room for higher labor force participation rates.
The improving quality of the workforce, as well as about eight million fresh college graduates each year, will help propel China's industrial upgrading and unleash innovation momentum in sustaining China's medium and long-term steady economic expansion, Ning said.
China's economy posted steady growth at 6.6 percent in 2018, NBS data showed.