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China’s Population Up by 480,000 in 2021, Slowest Growth Since 1962

Garrett_Li

Garrett_...

· 1月18日

China's falling birth rate is attributed to a few factors, including changing opinions on marriage and childrearing, late marriage trend, the pandemic and fewer women of reproductive age.

Image: Visual China

BEIJING, January 17 (TMTPOST) — China’s population grew by around 480,000 in 2021 year over year, Ning Jizhe, the director of the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) said at a press release on Monday.

China had 10.62 million births and 10.14 million deaths in 2021, according to the NBS. From 2000 to 2017, about 16 million to 18 million babies were born per year. The number of births began to fall clearly in 2018.  

Information on China’s latest demographic structure was given at the press release. According to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the country has 882.22 million aged between 16~59 years old, which means China’s labor force accounts for 62.5% of its total population. Elders aged 65 years old and above account for 14.2% of the total population.

The statistics also show that 498.35 million Chinese citizens lived in the countryside, down 11.57 million. Urban residents account for 64.72% of the total population, up 0.83%.

China’s falling birth rate is attributed to a few factors, including changing opinions on marriage and childrearing, late marriage trend, the pandemic and fewer women of reproductive age. Population growth slowdown is a natural result of economic development, urbanization and industrialization, Ning concluded at the press release. China’s population will remain above 1.4 billion for an extended period thanks to the three-child policy.

“China still has over 300 million women of reproductive age. The country’s birth rate should be able to maintain at 10 million, which will allow China’s population to continue to grow.” Ning said, commenting that China’s three-child policy should be able to drive population growth in the future.

The increasing life expectancy in China thanks to improving medical conditions and life quality will also help drive population growth by keeping the mortality rate below the birth rate, Ning said.

The slow population growth in 2021 might foreshadow zero population growth for China in 2022, according to Cui Shuyi, dean of the Institute of Population and Social Development at Shandong Academy of Social Sciences. The population growth last year was the slowest since 1962.

“This has come a few years earlier than the academia has expected,” Cui pointed out. “And we don’t have provincial statistics yet. But I think some provinces already experienced zero growth or even population decline in 2021.”  

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