BEIJING (AP) — The number of working-age people in China fell over the past decade while the population barely grew, adding to strains on an aging society. A once-a-decade government census found the total population rose to 1.411 billion people last year, up 72 million from 2010. Weak growth fell closer to zero as fewer couples had children. That adds to challenges for Chinese leaders who want to create a prosperous society and increase their global influence by developing new industries and self-sustaining economic growth based on consumer spending. The population of potential workers aged 15 to 59 shrank by about 5% from its 2011 peak.
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