China’s weak population growth exposes demographic challenges

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Chinese Census Data Exposing China’s Demographic Challenges | Photo: Pixabay

China’s population reached 1.412 billion people in 2020, a slight increase from 1.400 billion the previous year, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Since the previous survey, in 2010, China’s population increased by 72 million people.

However, the number of births fell for the fourth year in a row. Chinese women gave birth to 12 million babies last year, up from 14.65 million births in 2019 – an 18% drop that is expected to prompt the Chinese Communist Party to rethink its “two-child” policy, which in 2016 it replaced the brutal one-child policy. The pandemic is cited by experts as one of the reasons for the drop in the number of births last year.

At the same time, the percentage of Chinese aged 60 and over jumped between 2010 and 2020, from 13.3% to 18.7%. The share of the population aged 15 to 59 increased from 70.1% to 63.35% during the same period.

“The census data also shows some structural contradictions facing the evolution of the country’s population, such as the decrease in the size of the working-age population and of women of childbearing age, the worsening of aging. , the fall in the total fertility rate. and the decrease in the number of births, ”said NBS Commissioner Ning Jizhe, adding that China’s population growth rate will continue to decline.

The aging population promises to challenge China’s economic goals, with a scarcer workforce and increased pension spending. Some solutions, such as investments in education and automation, ending birth control policies and providing financial support to families, could help alleviate the problem, experts say.

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