As little as in 2018, China has not been born for more than half a century

As little as in 2018, China has not been born for more than half a century

The boom of fertility expected by the government of the People’s Republic of China did not happen due to the weakening of the law of one child. Substantial easing of the policy on childbirth in the PRC in order to raise the birth rate did not produce results. As few babies as last year have not been born in China since the days of the Great Famine of Mao Zedong. Disappointing data will further increase concerns about the growth of the second economy of the planet.

Compared with 2017, children in the Middle Kingdom last year were born with more than two million less. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China in 2018, 15.23 million babies were born. Demographer He Yafu claims the last time fewer children were born in China back in 1961, i.e. almost six decades ago. In general, in the whole history of the PRC, which dates back to 1949, this is the third result from the bottom.

Demographics are increasingly negatively affecting the economy and, above all, the forecasts of economists. Now is not the right time for such a sharp decline in fertility. In the fourth quarter of last year, China's GDP grew by 6.4%. This is the lowest figure since 1990! A very low birth rate has been imposed on other problems: astronomical debt, the trade war with the United States, etc.

Declining birth rates primarily affect large cities. Thus, in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, a major economic center and a busy seaport, the birth rate in 2018 was the lowest in at least ten years. In the neighboring city of Ningbo, the birth rate decreased by 17%. This list goes on and on.

The Academy of Sciences of the PRC believes that if the birth rate remains at the current 1.6 children per woman of childbearing age, the population of China will begin to decline in 2027, i.e. three years ahead of recent forecasts. In 2017, the population of China was 1.39 billion people. By 2065, it could shrink to 1.172 billion.

At the turn of the 50-60s of the last century in China, the Mao Tsetunovskiy jumped forward. «Violent” industrialization provoked a terrible famine, as a result of which, only in 1960, the population decreased by 10 million people. Most of them died of starvation.

The Chinese authorities expected to gradually increase the number of working-age population, the decline of which will soon begin to adversely affect the economy, and in 2016 weakened the law of one child and allowed many families to have two children. Moreover, this notorious law, adopted at the very beginning of the seventies of the twentieth century and designed to stop the rapid growth of the population, even with simple references to the word „family planning“ in 2020, should disappear altogether from the new edition of the civil code of the PRC. Now it is no secret for anyone that the government will soon finally remove restrictions on the number of children in a family.

The law of one child, even if at great cost, fulfilled the task. The population has ceased to grow rapidly, but there is a shortage of able-bodied population, as well as a gender bias: there are approximately 30 million more men in the country than women.

In the State Council (Government) last year it was estimated that by 2030 the number of Chinese over 60 years old will reach 25% from 13% in 2010.

As for the number of working-age population, it has been declining for the seventh year in a row. Last year, it fell, for example, by another 4.7 million people.

According to demographer He, the abolition of the law of one child is not enough to remedy the situation. It is necessary, he is sure, to create conditions for encouraging mothers to give birth.

«In the long run, low birth rates will bring society serious problems in the economy and social life, will lead to further aging of the population, a reduction in the workforce and an increase in the level of dependence of the elderly on young people.

To achieve a breakthrough in such a difficult demographic situation will not be easy. Without any doubt, this forecast will be accurate, because the number of women capable of giving birth will continue to decline along with the weakening desire to bear children.
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