In 2023, China’s Population Will Fall Once More

China has declared that 2 million fewer people lived on the territory in 2023. This year’s population decline is the nation’s second on record, raising more questions about the future economic expansion of the state. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s population fell by 2.08 million, or 0.15 percent, to 1.409 billion in 2023. These are approximations derived from research and do not include Macao and Hong Kong. Every ten years, China conducts a comprehensive census.

 

To reach 11.1 million, the death toll increased by 690,000, more than twice as much as in 2022. According to population specialists, the majority of the increase can be attributed to COVID-19 outbreaks and population aging. However, the report also revealed significant information regarding the decline in births, which was 540,000, or 5.6%, lower than before. The decline was less than it had been throughout the previous three years. Nonetheless, the declining birth rate raises the possibility that China’s high fertility rate is a long-term social and economic issue. With fewer births and longer life spans due to improved healthcare, China’s population is gradually aging.

 

Former Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences demographer Zuo Xuejin predicted that by 2050, the percentage of the population 65 and older may increase to more than 30 percent. Over time, these population shifts may cause the economy to grow more slowly. For married Chinese people, the high cost of childcare and schooling presents a serious challenge to family planning. Despite government incentives and the relaxation of its one-child limit in recent years, women are becoming less fertile. Interest in having children declined due to other financial concerns. Record highs were reached for youth unemployment, white-collar worker earnings declined, and the property sector crisis—which stores over two-thirds of household wealth—got worse.

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