, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 427–442 | Cite as

Age — heaping: contrasting patterns from china

  • Jowett A. John 
  • Li Yuan-Qing 


Detailed examination of China's 1982 census data confirms that the standard of age reporting among the Han Chinese, and among many of the ethnic minorities, is very good. Furthermore the quality of age reporting is unaffected by large variations in levels of literacy which exist between men and women, between young and old, and between rural and urban areas. Much of the credit for the high quality of China's age reporting stems from the distinctive nature of Chinese traditional calendars. However, in the far west of China, in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, age heaping and age exaggeration are as bad as they are in many other developing countries. The authors show that the poor quality of age reporting in Xinjiang is confined to three of the region's ethnic communities, the Uygur, Kirgiz and Tajik, who appear to neither know, nor care, how old they are.


Urban Area Environmental Management Poor Quality Ethnic Minority Census Data 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jowett A. John 
    • 1
  • Li Yuan-Qing 
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geography, Applied Population Research UnitUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Population Research UnitUniversity of XinjiangXinjiangChina

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