Insight Online News
Beijing, Dec 2 : China’s birth rate has hit an all-time low in 2020 and there’s no indication that things are about to pick up anytime soon, according to the yearbook released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.
According to the latest yearbook published in late November, only 8.5 births per 1,000 people were reported in China last year.
The figure is the lowest not only since yearbook records began in 1978, but also since the founding of Communist China in 1949, according to official data.
According to a CNN report, the country’s once-a-decade national census revealed in May that just 12 million babies were born last year — an 18 per cent plunge from 14.65 million in 2019.
“From our preliminary forecast based on provisional data, (in 2021) it’s going to be very likely to be around or even under 10 million births. And of course, with that number, the biggest news will be China is probably in a population decline,” said James Liang, a research professor of economics at Peking University in Beijing.
China’s fertility rate stood at just 1.3 last year — among the lowest in the world and even lower than 1.34 in Japan. The few other countries with a lower fertility rate include Singapore (1.1) and South Korea (0.84).
According to the yearbook, last year, marriage registrations declined for the seventh consecutive year to 8.1 million, a crushing 40 per cent drop from a peak in 2013.
With a rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce, the imbalance could severely distress China’s economic and social stability.
“It’ll hurt China financially, because you need to support a lot more old people with fewer young people,” Liang said.