mandag 17. mai 2021

Why China’s dire demographic news signals need to adapt, focus on productivity

The latest census on China’s population has confirmed the much-anticipated concern about ageing and low fertility. In 2020, China had a population of 1.41 billion people, an increase of about 72 million from 1.34 billion in 2019. This represents a smaller annual percentage rise of 0.53 per cent compared to 0.57 per cent from 2000 to 2010.

The proportion of the population aged 60 years or above and 65 and over increased to 18.7 per cent and 13.5 per cent, respectively. Based on United Nations definitions, China is an ageing society. The number of births was 12 million, down from 14.65 million in 2019, despite the relaxation of the one-child policy. The total fertility rate is 1.3 births per woman, well below the replacement level of 2.1. The two major concerns, ageing and low fertility, are not uncommon and happen to other countries as well. What makes it particularly challenging is the speed and scale of the problem as China is the most populous country in the world, and it could have a spillover effect at the global level.