China sees second consecutive yearly population and workforce decline, rise in elderly
The country’s population decline is attributed to record-low birth rates and a surge in Covid-19 fatalities.
In 2023, China experiences a second consecutive decline in population growth, exacerbating its demographic challenge and potentially impacting its second-largest global economy.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports a 2.08 million decrease in the country’s population in 2023 compared to the prior year. With a current population of 1.409 billion, China ranks as the second most populous country, as India overtook it last year to become the world’s most populous nation.
Population decline is attributed to unprecedentedly low birth rates and Covid-19 fatalities. In 2022, it decreased by 8.5 lakh people, marking the first decline since the Great Famine of 1961 in Mao Tse-tung’s era.
Experiencing a historic decline, the birth rate plummeted to 6.39 births per 1,000 people from the previous year’s 6.77, marking the lowest since the establishment of the Communist regime in China.
Simultaneously, the NBS recorded an ascending trajectory in the nation’s economy, slightly surpassing the government’s projected target with a 5.2% growth. Nevertheless, this growth rate represents the country’s most lackluster economic performance in three decades.
The nation’s working-age population, aged 16 to 59, has decreased by 10.75 million since 2022, while individuals aged 60 and above have increased by 16.93 million during the same period.
The Chinese government abandoned its contentious ‘one-child policy’ in 2015 due to the declining workforce and swiftly aging population.