China’s Population Shrinks for First Time in 60 Years as Birth Rate Hits Record Low

Population in china has fallen for the first time in 60 years, with the national birth rate hitting a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000 women. this decrease in population was revealed in 2022, with the total population falling by 850,000 from the previous year. this decline in the birth rate has been consistent for years, prompting the chinese government to introduce several policies to try and slow the trend.

Results from the once-a-decade census in 2021 showed that china’s population growth was at its slowest rate in decades. the ageing population and falling birth rates have also been slowing down other developed economies in asia, such as south korea and japan. the chinese government implemented the one-child policy in 1979 in an attempt to slow population growth, and this policy was scrapped in 2016, allowing married couples to have two children.

October 2022, chinese president xi jinping made boosting birth rates a priority. the chinese government has offered tax breaks and better maternal healthcare, among other incentives, to reverse or at least slow the falling birth rate. however, these policies did not lead to a sustained increase in births, with experts noting that policies that encouraged childbirth were not accompanied by efforts to ease the burden of childcare, such as more help for working mothers or access to education.

By Evey Lovelace

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