Population decline in world’s most populous country reveals shocking record for first time in 60 years


Sheffield. China’s population is declining for the first time in 60 years and is expected to halve by the end of the century. After years of decline, China is now entering what one senior government official has called an “era of negative population growth”, with the country’s birth rate dropping from a past low of 6.77 per 1,000 people. recorded the lowest. China has long been the most populous country in the world. Aside from the famine years (1959-61) caused by the Great Leap Forward political movement, China’s population has grown rapidly in the past few decades.

China’s rapid population growth began to slow in the 1970s when the Chinese government introduced family planning measures out of fear of “overpopulation”. We limited each household to only one child (with some exceptions). The government’s view at the time was that curbing population growth would compensate for the lack of resources needed to raise living standards and spur economic growth. Therefore, China’s population growth rate remained stagnant for decades.

For the first time in decades, the population is beginning to decline. However, whether China’s population has truly peaked and when and how quickly this decline will occur is unclear and has been the subject of some debate. Population Outlook previously predicted that China’s population would begin to decline around 2030. Data on China’s population are notoriously unreliable and depend on who’s counting. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, by the end of 2022, he is expected to increase from 1.4126 billion a year ago to 1.4117 billion.

However, the United Nations Population Fund estimates China’s population at 1,448,500 and the World Population Review estimates it at 1,426,000. Variations in population trend estimates are based on different assumptions and data sources, leading to different expectations of how Chinese society will develop over time. These estimates become more difficult the further back in time you go. Many factors influence how fertility rates change over decades, let alone half a century.

Therefore, these projections of China’s population halving by 2100 should be read with caution. They rely on assumptions about how societies develop over time. Government failures For decades, the Chinese government has actively tried to manage population growth by influencing the birth rate. China’s fertility rate (her 1.3 in 2020) plummeted after the one-child policy, allowing her to have two and then three children when the policy ended in 2016. The Chinese government has also begun supporting families in other ways, such as promoting extended maternity leave and tax incentives for giving birth. But these policy changes seem to have come too little, too late.

Many experts in China and elsewhere argue that a decade’s delay in ending the one-child policy has led to a sharp decline in population growth. Adoption of new family planning policies is also declining. After decades of promoting her family of three, this image is deeply rooted in Chinese society. Not only this, but the costs of education, housing and marriage are also increasing. For many families, having more children is considered too expensive. Yet, for some forecasters, this population decline is happening at a faster rate than expected. One reason could be the Covid pandemic discouraging families from having more children. But the impact of Covid is difficult to quantify. For example, China’s data on Covid-related deaths are unreliable.

What does this mean for the world?
As more people live longer and have fewer children, the two consequences are a shrinking workforce and higher costs for the elderly. China’s rapid economic growth is a result of its large and cheap labor force. With fewer workers available and the world moving away from China, companies are moving production elsewhere. This threatens China’s economic development model, which is moving from a labor-intensive economy to a knowledge-intensive one. Another concern is how to care for a rapidly aging population. It is estimated that by 2079, there will be more Chinese workers outside the company than inside.

Even if population aging slows more than expected, the costs of pensions, health care and social security will be a major drag on economic growth unless productivity increases. China is not the only country facing these problems. Other East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea are also experiencing rapid population aging. Similarly, many European countries, including Germany and Italy, have experienced population decline for decades. However, the situation in China is different.

First, it is a middle-income country facing an aging and shrinking population, making it difficult to finance socioeconomic transformation. Second, from an international perspective, China is central to global supply chains, so anything that affects China will affect the global economy. This story of China’s declining population therefore affects China’s position in the world and the global economy as a whole.

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