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Mongolian Population Increases in N. China Region

The Mongolian population has increased to 4.21 million from 832,000 in 1947 in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the largest habitat of Mongolians in China.

Mongolians constitute China's eighth largest ethnic group. They are mainly distributed in eight provinces in north China, with 70 percent of them living in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which was established in 1947.

The figure comes from a population survey launched by the regional government in 2005.

The sharp increase is mainly attributed to China's special family-planning policy for minority ethnic groups, which allows a family to have two or even three children, while most Han families, especially in urban areas, are only permitted to have one child, according to the regional government.

In addition, great efforts were also made to secure the health of women and children in the region, which has carried out a program since 2001 to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women from poor families and the new-born against tetanus, a frequent fatal disease in rural areas.

(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2006)

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