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China's Population Down 2 Million in 2023, Marking Second Year of Decline

Thursday, January 18, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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China's population decline deepened in 2023, marking the second consecutive year of shrinking numbers for the once-most populous nation. Official data released Wednesday revealed a decrease of 2.08 million people, surpassing the 2022 decline of 850,000.

Falling birth rates are fueling the downward trend, despite government efforts to boost them. In 2023, births dropped to 9.02 million, compared to 9.56 million in 2022. The birth rate now sits at 6.39 per thousand, a concerning figure for a country that long relied on its vast workforce for economic growth.

The scrapping of the strict "one-child policy" in 2016 and subsequent allowance of three children in 2021 haven't yielded the desired results. Experts say soaring living costs, coupled with growing career aspirations among women, contribute to the declining birthrate.

"Reversing the trend is nearly impossible," declared independent demographer He Yafu. Even with encouraging fertility, "the younger generation's view on childbearing has fundamentally changed. They're simply not willing to have more children."

To weather the impending economic storm caused by a shrinking workforce, He suggests comprehensive measures. Childcare stipends, expanded childcare services, and increased nursery school enrollment for younger children top his list of recommendations.

China's demographic crisis poses a daunting challenge. As the population continues to shrink, finding effective solutions to boost birth rates and address the shrinking workforce will be crucial to maintaining economic stability and securing the nation's future.

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