onsdag 12. mai 2021

China’s population growing at slowest rate in generations

China has reported the slowest population growth since the early 1960s, despite scrapping its one-child policy in 2015 to encourage more births and stave off a looming demographic crisis. On Tuesday, the government released the results of its once-a-decade census, saying the overall population of China grew to 1.41178 billion in the 10 years to 2020, up by 5.38%. The increase reflects an average annual rise of 0.53%, down from 0.57% reported from 2000 to 2010.

The reported slowdown is not unexpected, and is in fact better than some analysts expected, but is a sign China has yet to adequately address the social drivers behind fewer people having children, including delayed marriages, high cost of living, and stalled social mobility. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there were officially 12 million babies born in 2020, 2.65 million fewer than were born in 2019, marking an 18% decrease. Preliminary data released earlier this year based on registered births, had indicated a year-on-year drop of 15%. The data showed China avoided an early population peak, which had been feared by some analysts, but had also missed its growth target set in 2016, to reach 1.42 billion people by 2020.