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China Census

NPR's Rob Gifford reports from Beijing that the world's most populous country- China-- is trying to find out how many people live within its borders. Six million census takers have begun to spread out across the country, trying to count a population that 10 years ago numbered some 1.13 billion people.. There are serious obstacles, other than the size of the country. Most people live in rural areas, where residents commonly defy the country's one-child policy. Many who live in the cities also might be reluctant to talk to census takers as they moved to urban centers from the impoverished hinterlands, without first obtaining the proper papers.

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