China's population grew to 1.34 billion by 2010, according to new census data.
The data shows an ageing and more urban population that experts say is likely to spur calls for the 'one-child' policy to be relaxed.
The census relating to the world's second biggest economy was released today.
It showed the population in China grew by 5.84% from the 1.27bn in the last census in 2000.
Some demographers had projected that the population would have reached 1.4bn by 2010.
The results also showed China is fast urbanising and becoming older.
These trends augur big changes in the labour market in coming years, as the number of potential workers, especially from the countryside, shrinks and the elderly dependent population grows.
The proportion of mainland Chinese people aged 14 or younger was 16.6%, down by 6.29% from the number in the 2000 census.
The number aged 60 or older grew to 13.26%, up 2.93%.
The figures also showed that China's population is growing more slowly than in the past. Between 1990 and 2000, the total population increased by 11.7%.