For the first time in 60 years, China’s population has declined, with the national birth rate reaching a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000 women.
The population in 2022 will be 1.4118 billion, down 850,000 from 2021.
For years, China’s birth rate has been declining, prompting a slew of policies to slow the trend.
However, seven years after repealing the one-child policy, it has entered a “era of negative population growth,” according to one official.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, which released the figures on Tuesday, the birth rate in 2022 was also down from 7.52 in 2021.
Last year, deaths outnumbered births for the first time since 1976, with China recording its highest death rate since 1976 – 7.37 deaths per 1,000 people, up from 7.18 the year before.
Why are Chinese women unwilling to have more children?
What will happen if Indians outnumber Chinese?
Earlier government data had predicted a demographic crisis, which would shrink China’s labor force and increase the burden on healthcare and other social security costs in the long run.
The results of a once-decade census, announced in 2021, revealed that China’s population was growing at its slowest rate in decades.
Other developed Asian economies, such as South Korea and Japan, have been slowed by an aging population and falling birth rates.
The controversial one-child policy, implemented in 1979 to slow population growth, has largely shaped China’s population trends over the years.