China Posts Slowest Population Growth In Decades: Census Data
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Tue 11th May 2021 | 09:10 AM
The growth of 5.4 percent since the last census in 2010 reflects fears of a looming demographic crisis amid an ageing society and slowing birthrates, with a sharp drop in the number of working-age citizens in the world's second biggest economy.
The growth rate was the slowest since the 1960s, according to official data.
Beijing changed family planning rules in 2016 to allow families to have two children amid fears grew about China's fast-ageing population and shrinking workforce -- but it is yet to produce the expected baby boom to help offset the country's ageing population.
But he added that the "ageing of the population imposed continued pressure on the long-term balanced development of the population in the coming period." The number of people aged between 15 and 59 population dropped nearly seven percent, while those aged over 60 was up more than five percent.
China's birthrate has been in steady decline since 2017, despite the relaxation of the decades-old "one-child policy" This is partly due to falling marriage rates in recent years, couples struggling with the high cost of raising children in major cities, as well as women naturally delaying or avoiding childbirth due to their growing empowerment.
"The family households continued to downsize because of increasing population mobility and the fact that young people after marriages lived separately from parents with improved housing conditions," said Ning.
More than 63 percent of people now living in urban areas.
China conducts a census every ten years to determine population growth, movement patterns and other trends. The sensitive data plays a major role in government policy planning.
For the first time, much of the census data was collected online this year, Ning said, saying the data was "rigorous" and "reliable".
China recorded its slowest birthrate since 1949 for the year 2019, at 10.48 per 1,000 people.