Saturday, February 24, 2024

China’s population fell for the second year in a row as the death rate rose

China’s population will fall by 2 million people in 2023, the second consecutive annual decline due to a drop in births and a rise in deaths after the coronavirus pandemic subsided. COVID-19 restrictions, the government said on Wednesday.

The number of deaths increased by 690,000 to 11.1 million, more than double the increase recorded in the previous year. Demographers expect a sharp increase in deaths due to the coronavirus epidemic, which started at the end of 2022 and lasted until February.

The total population of the country remains at 1.4 billion inhabitants, as explained by the state statistics office. China, which has long been the world’s most populous country, will fall to second place behind India in 2023, according to United Nations estimates.

The number of births fell for the seventh consecutive year, reflecting a declining birth rate that poses an economic and social challenge for China. The population continues to age, which will slow economic growth over time and test the country’s ability to care for a larger aging population with a smaller workforce.

The number of births decreased by 540,000, lower than in previous years. About nine million children will be born in 2023, half the number in 2016. All figures are estimated based on surveys and do not include Hong Kong and Macau. China conducts a full census every 10 years.

China, which once tried to control population growth through its one-child policy, now faces the opposite problem. The government has tried to encourage births since gradually easing restrictions in 2014 and 2016 to allow a second child and a third in 2021, although with little success.

People marry later and sometimes decide not to have children. Even those who have one are often left with one because of the high cost of education in cities and the competitive academic environment. The population of women of childbearing age has also decreased.

World Nation News Desk
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