Daily US Times, Beijing: China’s birth rate has fallen its lowest in seven decades. This is the lowest since the formation of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago – despite the removing of one-child policy a few years ago.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics said- in 2019, the birth rate was 10.48, the lowest since 1949.
In 2019 the number of babies born dropped by 580,000 to 14.65 million.
Because of low birth rate and low death rate, the country’s population hit 1.4 billion in 2019, inching up from 1.39bn.
Lower birth rates raise the concern of a demographic timebomb- a smaller working-class population having to support bigger, retired population.
The most recent data shows US birth rates is slightly higher than China, 12 per thousand people in 2017. Japan has an even lower birth rate of 8.
According to the World Bank, the overall birth rate was 18.65 in 2017.
In 1979, the Chinese government introduced nationwide one-child policy to slow the growth of population.
Families who violated the rules faced forced abortions, loss of employment and fines.
But the policy created several gender imbalance. The 2019 data shows males outnumbered females by more than 30 million.
In 2015 the government ended the one-child policy, allowing couples to have more than one child. But the step failed to boost the birthrate.
But why the plan did not work out? Experts say the plan did not come out with supporting features like monetary support for child care and increased paternity leave.
Most families still can’t afford more than one child, that is another valid reason for the failure of the plan.
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