China’s population fell for the first time in six decades last year as the nation’s population of 1.4 billion declined by about 850,000.
Short term, this is just a blip on the radar. But China also is afflicted with a rapidly aging population, which means that China is very likely to get old before it gets rich.
“China’s demographic and economic outlook is much bleaker than expected. China will have to adjust its social, economic, defense and foreign policies,” said demographer Yi Fuxian.
“Economic growth will have to depend more on productivity growth,” added Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management.
China’s birth rate last year was just 6.77 births per 1,000 people, down from a rate of 7.52 births in 2021 and marking the lowest birth rate on record.
The number of Chinese women of childbearing age, which the government defines as aged 25 to 35, fell by about 4 million, Kang said.
The death rate, the highest since 1974 during the Cultural Revolution, was 7.37 deaths per 1,000 people, which compares with a rate of 7.18 deaths in 2021.
Contrast those numbers with the U.S., where our births per thousand people were 12.01 and deaths per thousand were 6.98. Eventually, with fewer and fewer productive workers to support China’s aging population, a demographic crisis will overwhelm the state’s ability to cope.
The culprit was the Communists’ eagerness for social engineering with their “one-child policy.”
Much of the demographic downturn is the result of China’s one-child policy imposed between 1980 and 2015 as well as sky-high education costs that have put many Chinese off having more than one child or even having any at all.
The one-child policy and a traditional preference for boys have also created a deep gender imbalance. The latest data shows China with around 722 million males compared to 690 million females. The imbalance, which is more pronounced in rural areas, has led to fewer families being formed in recent years.
The data was the top trending topic on Chinese social media after the figures were released on Tuesday. One hashtag,”#Is it really important to have offspring?” had hundreds of millions of hits.
At least one reason for the lack of enthusiasm among Chinese couples to procreate is the high cost of education. Couple that with the traditional sex roles of Chinese couples where it’s considered unmanly to have anything to do with taking care of babies.
“The fundamental reason why women do not want to have children lies not in themselves, but in the failure of society and men to take up the responsibility of raising children. For women who give birth this leads to a serious decline in their quality of life and spiritual life,” posted one netizen with the username Joyful Ned.
Online searches for baby strollers dropped 17% in 2022 and are down 41% since 2018. Searches for baby bottles have dropped by a third. Chinese Communist social engineers committed a catastrophic error that one of the most ancient countries in the world may not recover from.