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China’s population falls for the first time since 1961

BEIJING/HONG KONG: For the first time in six decades, China’s population decreased last year. This historic development is likely to signal the beginning of a protracted era of population reduction, which will have a significant impact on the country’s economy and the rest of the globe.

The decline, which is the greatest since 1961, the final year of China’s Great Famine, supports forecasts that India would surpass China as the world’s most populated country this year.

By the end of 2022, China’s population had decreased by almost 850,000, to 1.41175 billion, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the long run, according to UN analysts, China’s population would fall by 109 million people by 2050, which is more than quadruple the decline they had predicted for 2019.
Domestic demographers bemoan the fact that China will age before it becomes wealthy as a result, slowing the economy as revenues decline and government debt rises as a result of skyrocketing health and welfare spending.

“The demographic and economic picture for China is far worse than anticipated. China’s social, economic, defense, and diplomatic policies will need to be adjusted “said Yi Fuxian, a demographer.

The decline of manufacturing and the country’s declining labor force, he continued, will make already high prices and rising inflation in the United States and Europe much worse.
Kang Yi, chairman of the national statistics agency, told reporters that people need not worry about the fall in population as “total labor supply still surpasses demand”.

Last year, China’s birth rate was 6.77 births per 1,000 people, down from 7.52 births in 2021 and the lowest rate on record.

According to Kang, the number of Chinese women of reproductive age, defined by the government as 25 to 35, has decreased by around 4 million.

The death rate was 7.37 fatalities per 1,000 people, the highest since 1974 during the Cultural Revolution, compared to 7.18 deaths in 2021.

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