China's one-child-per-couple population policy has bred 104 million fewer births in the past decade, the State Statistical Bureau said Monday.

Bureau officials said reduced population growth in the 1978-87 period will save the state $270 billion in educational and other costs, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.China now has about 1.07 billion people, one-fifth of the world's population. In 1978, shortly before the government initiated its policy of one child for each couple, the population stood at 962 million. In 1949, when the Communist government took over, the nation had 542 million people.

China's population policy has been a source of friction with the United States, which has withheld funding from United Nations family planning programs to block U.N. support for alleged forced abortions and sterilization in China.

The United States also angered China recently by granting political asylum to three Chinese couples who said they would be persecuted upon returning to China for violating the one-child policy.

China denies forcing women to abort unplanned babies.