The number of newborns registered with the government in China dropped almost 15% last year
China’s demographic issues could pose serious issues for the world’s second-largest economy when the current working-age population reaches retirement
Experts worry if the trend continues, or the population begins shrinking, China may get old before it gets rich.
According to the most recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics, there were 250 million people over 60 years old in China last year, around 18% of the population.
Stuart Gietel-Basten, a Professor of Social Science and Public Policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said that while there is likely to be a drop in births in most countries in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the statistics from China are in keeping with a general downward trend. “The impact of Covid-19 has probably exaggerated it, and in coming years the drops probably won’t be so bad, but that downward structural trend is likely to continue,” he said. “The number of new babies born is never going to be that high in future, because the number of childbearing women is declining, and will be declining rapidly (in years to come).”