A new study from one of China’s leading think tanks claims that China’s population could begin to post negative growth in under a decade.
On 3 January the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the Social Sciences Academic Press jointly released the “Population and Labour Green Paper: Chinese Population and Labour Issues Report no. 19” (人口与劳动绿皮书：中国人口与劳动问题报告No.19), which states that long-term low fertility rates will result in rapid ageing of China’s population and demographic decline, creating major challenges for Chinese society and the Chinese economy.
The Report points out that if China’s total fertility rate (TFR) remains at the low level of 1.6, its population could begin to see negative growth as soon as 2027.
“Negative growth in China’s population is already an unstoppable trend,” said the Report. “We need to urgently undertake research and implement policy back-ups starting right now.”
Other authoritative sources within China point to declining birthrates as well as a marked drop in second children, despite the recent annulment of the long-standing One Child Policy.
Huang Kuangshi (黄匡时), a researcher from the China Population and Development Research Centre (中国人口与发展研究中心), an ancillary body of the National Health Commission, forecasts that there were 15 – 16 million births in 2018, for a decline of around one million compared to 17.23 million births in 2017.
Lu Jiehua (陆杰华), a professor from Peking University, said to 21st Century Business Herald that this rapid decline in birthrates means negative growth in China’s population could arrive even earlier than 2027, as forecast by CASS.