Its population Chinathe world’s most populous country, will shrink in 2022, an official institution announced today, a development that is a historical first since the early 1960s. Last year, there were 9.56 million births, which did not make up for the 10.41 million deaths, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said in a report.
The Chinese population will consequently shrink by around 850,000 people in 2022.
This decline is expected to be permanent, lasting decades, according to journalism experts, which will have tangible consequences for the economy, society and the social security system.
This population decline is the first since 1960-1961, when a famine in 1959 resulted in the loss of tens of millions of lives, largely attributed to the economic policy failures of the Great Leap Forward.
The 2022 contraction is mainly explained by the large increase in the cost of living, the higher level of education of many women, which means that many are late in having children, or even the lack of will of the new generations to have children.
The birth rate fell to 1.15 children per woman in 2021, well below the level considered necessary for population renewal (2.1).
Along with aging, the decline of the population, especially the working population, is expected to have profound consequences for the Chinese economy for decades, as reported by international agencies and relayed by the Athens News Agency.
Labor costs are expected to increase, affecting their competitiveness Chinese workers, while the pressure on the active population to guarantee the care of the elderly will be scaled up.
Local authorities have already announced measures to encourage couples to have children, or more children.
The metropolis of Shenzhen (southern) has been offering for a few days benefits for each birth reaching up to 100,000 yuan (1,370 euros) and various benefits up to the age of three for each child.
While Shandong province (east) gives 158 days of maternity leave (60 days more than the national average) from the first child.
China may have as few as 587 million inhabitants in 2100, according to the most pessimistic statistical projections contained in a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences updated last year and whose data was obtained by AFP.
Source: News Beast
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