1,000,000,000 Chinese in biggest head count

China and its approximately 1 billion people start the biggest census in world history this week, with the authorities determined to make it more accurate than earlier head counts despite a long history of census-dodging.

The government, haunted by a possible further population explosion, needs reliable information for its strict birth-control policy and for economic planning. Nearly 6 million census officers were appointed to make sure people fill in their forms correctly, and random checks will be made afterward on 1 percent of households to seek out any errors. The exercise will cost China over

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