The continued drop in new births is a ticking time bomb for the Chinese state. Fewer births means less labor force supply, which in turn adds to the pressure on a pension system that relies on contributions from the working population.
China had 254 million elderly residents aged 60 or above in 2019, according to the statistics bureau—that’s 18% of the whole population of 1.4 billion. That number is expected to expand to 300 million by 2025. China’s state pension scheme could run out of funding by 2035 due to the shrinking workforce.
The country’s rising housing prices, stalling economy, and increasing education costs as the main reasons for not wanting to have children are the main reasons for the falling birth rate. The country’s marriage rate plunged to 6.6 per 1,000 people in 2019, the lowest level in 14 years.