The birth rate in China drops for the 5th consecutive year

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The birth rate in China drops for the 5th consecutive year
In 2021, China recorded just 10.62 million births. As per officials, China is entering into a “zero growth” period.

The world’s most populous nation, China, saw a decrease in the birth rate for the 5th consecutive year in a row. In 2021, just 10.62 million births will be recorded in the country. This also means that per thousand people in a given area, just 7.5 births took place.

The National Bureau of Statistics of China also mentioned that in 2021, China recorded the lowest birth rate since the establishment of Communist China in 1949. The growth rate of the country fell to 0.034%. The last time the nation’s growth rate fell this low was during the Great Famine years from 1959 to 1961.

The period saw the death of tens of millions of people in China, and the country witnessed a population decline. If we look at birth rates in previous years, the statistics show that in 2019, China recorded 14.65 million births. In 2020, the birth rate further declined, and the nation saw 12.02 million births.

Hence, from 2020 to 2021, the government saw a decline of 11.6%. The demographers in China stated that if the birth rates decline in the coming years, the country might witness a shrinking population.

Why is a low birth rate recorded?

As stated above, the nation has been seeing this trend for the past five years, and one would wonder why is this happening. According to the head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Nigh Jizhe, the birth rate declines due to various factors.

The factors are a decline in the number of women who can reproduce, a decrease in fertility, people’s changed mindset about having children, and people choosing to marry late.
However, the government in China is encouraging people to have more children after realizing that their “one-child policy” isn’t favouring the nation.

When the one-child policy was applicable, the government saw a stark rise in the population of aged people, whereas the country’s working people were declining. This decline in the workforce and increase in the ageing population is alarming for the nation as this means that there are fewer working hands compared to the ones who are to be fed and aren’t working.

This also means that the country could face an imbalance in its economic and social stability.

What is the government doing to reverse this trend?

When the Chinese government realized that the one-child policy wasn’t working well, in 2015, they permitted married couples to produce two children. This policy helped as in 2016, the country witnessed birth rates. However, the birth rate has kept declining year by year since the following year.

Thus, in 2020 the government of China decided to change the policy and permitted married couples to have three children. Talking about the government’s three-child policy, Nigh said that the country would gradually raise birth rates.

He further stated that in 2021, 43% of births out of 10.62 million births were the family’s second child. He also said,

“China’s total population will remain above 1.4 billion for a period of time to come.”

Besides the nation’s three-child policy, the Chinese government is trying to stimulate the population to produce more children by propaganda tactics and slogans. Some of those are an extension of maternity leaves, cash incentives, and real estate subsidies.

However, women in the country aren’t much impressed by the government’s policy as the companies don’t like financial burdens. Other than that, another reason for them not producing more children is the expenses of raising more children.

Hence, it is to be seen if, in 2022, the trend of declining birth rates reverses and if the government’s three-child policy favours the nation.


Edited by- Mahi Gupta

Published by- Satheesh Kumar

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