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Research Guides

China Studies: Chinese Census Database User Guide

Research guide on China and Chinese language studies resources.

What's in this Guide

This guide is intended as an additional resource for students and other UW library patrons who want to use the China Census Database (中国人口普查数据库).

Introductory Notes:

  • This guide is for the Chinese language version of the database.
  • This database does not have a sophisticated search function
  • Keyword searches only target words in the title of volumes. Therefore, keyword searches are of very limited utility in using this database.
  • For the best results, users are encourage to locate the volume they need, examine the table of contents to determine which sections are relevant, download those sections, and then skim as they would the paper edition

Censuses in China: The Basics

Since 1949, six national censuses have been conducted in China.



第一次全国人口普查 The First National Population Census


第二次全国人口普查 The Second National Population Census


第三次全国人口普查 The Third National Population Census


第四次全国人口普查 The Fourth National Population Census


第五次全国人口普查 The Fifth National Population Census


第六次全国人口普查 The Sixth National Population Census


  • In using this database, keep in mind that 《第六次全国人口普查主要数据》 and 《中国2010年人口普查资料》refer to the same census - the sixth national population census conducted in 2010. Users can refer to the above chart to find the ordinal number (first, second, third, etc.) that corresponds with the year they are looking for.
  • There is an uneven distribution of information available. By far the most information is available on the 2010 census data.

1. Locating a Yearbook

Option 1: Searching by Location or Year

  • Using the bar in the left-hand corner of the screen, users can view available data by place (地区) or year (普查年份).
  • After selecting a place or year, users will be able to view the scope of information the database contains on that particular location/time. This information will appear in the center of the screen.


Option 2: Searching by Title or Keyword

  • Using the pull down menu and entry box in the center to the screen, users can search for census data by the Chinese title (年鉴中文名), English title (年鉴英文名), or compiler of the volume (历任主编). Users can also enter a keyword instead of the full title (e.g., "云南" or "Tianjin"). 

2. How to Read & Download Census Data

Option 1: Browsing the Contents of an Entire Volume

  • Select desired volume (for instance, 上册 [first volume] or 下册 [second volume]) by clicking on the appropriate link. A new page will appear with the table of contents for that volume listed in the left-hand column.


  • Select desired section from the table of contents. A new screen will appear allowing users to download that section in the form of a PDF.


Option 2: Searching the Yearbook Using Keywords

  • Select a search type. There are two options "Chinese title" (年鉴中文名) or "English title" (年鉴英文名). 
  • After selecting desired volume, users can select to search by section headings (条目题名) or the entire text (正文). Users can then enter a keyword (e.g., "死亡" or “婚姻”).

  • A new tab with the list of results will appear. To download one of the chapters listed in the results, click on its title. A new screen will appear which will give users the option to download that selection in PDF form.