China’s population growth falls to its lowest level in 61 years | China

China’s population growth has fallen to its lowest level in 60 years, slightly above 2021 deaths, despite major government efforts to increase population growth and halt the demographic crisis. ..

Across China, 10.62 million babies will be born in 2021, at a rate of 7.52 per 1,000, the Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. During the same period, 10.14 million deaths were recorded, with a mortality rate of 7.18 per 1,000, resulting in population growth. Only 0.34 per 1000 people.

Growth has been the lowest since 1960, with an average annual increase of 0.53% from the 0.57% reported between 2000 and 2010, in addition to the results of the 10-year census last May. ..

China, like many parts of East Asia, is at stake due to declining birth rates, imminent negative population growth and forecasts of aging. Monday’s numbers show that the percentage of people over the age of 60 in China has risen from 18.7% in 2020. To 18.9%.

“Vital statistics are well known, but the aging of the population is clearly faster than expected,” said Zhiwei Zhang, Chief Economist at Pinpoint Asset Management.

“This suggests that China’s total population may have peaked in 2021, and that China’s potential growth may be slowing faster than expected. is showing.”

Beijing has announced major reforms to address this decline, including a retirement age increase. Instead of the two-child policy introduced in 2016, there is a three-child policy, with a slight increase in the number of births and then a decrease again.

High living costs, delayed marriage and lack of social mobility are often cited as factors that make young Chinese hesitate to give birth, and Beijing bans expensive tutoring and raises children accordingly. And promised better access to maternity leave.

Professor Wang Feng, a professor of Asian demography at the University of California, Irvine, said the results show that the root cause is deeper than the perceptions of policy makers.

“The policies announced last year are mostly rhetoric or at best band-aid,” he told the Guardian.

“If we don’t address the deep-seated causes that discourage young Chinese from getting married and having children, from gender inequality to high living costs, what we are seeing now is a further decline in China’s fertility rate and population decline. May just be the beginning of the process of prolongation. “

China also faces potential economic instability, with GDP data released along with census results revealing a dramatic slowdown in the last few months of 2021.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, reported a year-on-year increase in GDP of 8.1%, surpassing the government’s forecast of 6%, but growth was concentrated in the first half of the year. The fourth quarter was up 4% from 4.9% in the third quarter.

“The domestic economy is under three pressures: shrinking demand, supply shocks and weak expectations,” said Ning Jizhe, a spokesman for the agency.

Last year, there was an extraordinary level of change in consumer habits and government intervention in major Chinese industries. Retail sales growth fell from 3.9% in November to 1.7% in December...

“Economic growth is clearly under pressure, and (and) the recent outbreak of Omicron in China has exacerbated the downside risk,” Zhang said.

Construction was sluggish and real estate sales were hit by the development crisis, especially the ongoing financial difficulties of the big company Evergrande.

Government intervention in the $ 1 billion tutor industry and ongoing crackdowns on the tech sector have also seen a wave of layoffs. The promotion of emission reductions, coupled with supply chain problems and the ban on some imported coal, has been criticized along with rising electricity prices due to power outages. ..

The heading and first paragraph of this story was revised on January 17, 2022. It is not the birth rate but the population growth rate that has reached the lowest level in 60 years. The fertility rate is the lowest since 1949.

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