China’s birth rate fell to its lowest level in 70 years in 2019. This is evidenced by the data of the National Bureau of Statistics, reports Bloomberg.
The number of births per 1,000 is reported to have fallen to 10.48, the lowest level since at least 1949. A total of 14.65 million children appeared in the country during the year, which is 580,000 less than a year earlier.
The number of able-bodied people, which includes people from 16 to 59 years old, is also decreasing: last year there were fewer than 890,000 people. At the same time, China’s population is aging rapidly, at a rate greater than most of the developed countries in the world. The proportion of people over 65 rose from 11.9 percent to 12.6 percent in a year.
Chinese authorities are now discussing raising the retirement age to cope with the shortage of labor and pension fund funds. Currently, men in the country retire at 60, women at 55
As Wang Feng, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, noted, the birth rate is being helped by mass internal migration, rapid urbanization, local labor culture, high housing, and education costs, and discrimination on the basis of sex. Guangdong demographer He Yafu, for his part, believes that even if the government lifts all restrictions on childbearing, it will not have too much impact, as only a small proportion of families want to have three or more children.
In January 2019, it was reported that China’s population had declined for the first time in 70 years. In 2018, 1.27 million more people died in the country than they were born. In 1979, the Chinese authorities launched a fertility management campaign called “One Family, One Child”. In 2016, the limit on the number of children was partially removed, but the result of fertility did not meet expectations.
According to the UN, by 2050 the world’s population will grow to 9.7 billion people. By the end of the century, population growth will be more moderate: about 11 billion people will live on Earth.