Friday, January 17, 2020

China's Population Decline

China's birth rate has fallen to its lowest since the formation of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago - despite the relaxation of the "one-child policy". That reform has failed to reverse the country's falling birth rate.
The birth rate was 10.48 per thousand in 2019 - the lowest since 1949, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The number of babies born in 2019 dropped by 580,000 to 14.65 million.
Even if the government lifted all restrictions on childbirth, “that would only have a small impact on reversing the fertility trend, as the willingness to have three or more children is very low,“ said He Yafu, a Guangdong-based demographer
Despite the birth rate falling, a lower death rate meant China's population hit 1.4 billion in 2019, inching up from 1.39bn.  Researchers  forecast China’s total population to begin to decline around 2028.
China’s working-age population -- those aged 16 to 59 -- declined by 890,000. Chinese authorities have deliberated over raising the country’s retirement age, currently 60 for men and 55 for women, to cope with the shortage in the labor force and shortfall in the national pension fund

Meanwhile, the share of people older than 65 grew to 12.6% last year, compared with 11.9% in the prior year. China’s population is aging more quickly than most of the world’s developed economies, a hangover from decades of family planning policies. In 2001, those aged 65 and older accounted for more than 7% of the country and the proportion has grown at a quicker pace each year ever since. China’s elderly population is expected to grow by a total of 224 million between 2010 and 2040, with an average annual growth rate of 3.62% and net increase of 7.46 million, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimates.

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