PYONGYANG, North Korea, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- North Korea's population increased to 23.6 million in 2004 despite the reclusive communist state's economic woes, it was reported Sunday.
The figure represents a steady increase of the North's population from 22.1 million in 1996, 22.9 million in 2000 and 23.3 million in 2002, said an almanac released Sunday by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
The population increase translates into an annual average increase of about 200,000 for the seven-year period from 1996, the South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
A CIA estimate last year put the North Korean population at 22.6 million in 2004. The comparable figure from the Unification Ministry is 22.3 million.