In 2023, the population of China continued to decline, which will have serious long-term consequences for the growth potential of the economy. This is reported by the Reuters agency.
The process of population reduction was accelerated by a record low birth rate and a wave of deaths from COVID-19, which began after the lifting of strict anti-covid restrictions in the country.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported that in 2023, the total number of Chinese residents decreased by 2.08 million people (0.15 percent) to 1.409 billion. In 2022, the population decreased by 850 thousand people – this happened for the first time since 1961, when the period of the Great Chinese Famine ended.
At the beginning of last year, there was a sharp spike in the incidence of coronavirus infection in China after the lifting of strict restrictions. The total number of deaths last year increased by 6.6 percent to 11.1 million people – as noted by Reuters, this is the highest death rate since 1974.
The birth rate in 2023 fell by 5.7 percent to 9.02 million. High costs for childcare and education prevent many Chinese couples from having children, and the uncertainty of the labor market prevents women from suspending their careers, writes Reuters.
UN experts predict that the population of China will decrease by 109 million by 2050, which is more than three times higher than their previous forecast of 2019.
It is expected that by 2035, the country’s population of retirement age at the age of 60 and older will increase from approximately 280 million people to more than 400 million – this is more than the entire population of the United States, according to Reuters. The Chinese Academy of Sciences predicts that the pension system will run out of money by 2035.