For decades, China has been a densely populated country. With its population crossing 1.4111 billion in 2021, that number dropped by 850,000 in 2022. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the country’s birth rate fell by 7.52% in 2022. According to Chinese officials, this is one of the historic drops in the population of China.
The country’s officials have been trying a “one-child” policy to cope with the staggering population, but none of these measures have been effective enough to control individual birth rates. Recently, the country’s bureau shared a detailed report on the historical decline of the birth rate in the country. Calling the decline “historic,” the stats show that this decline is witnessed for the first time since the 1960s.
Furthermore, the report also shows that the death ratio in the country outnumbered the birth rate. In 2021, the death ratio of the country was 7.13%. On the other hand, this percentage surged up to 7.82% in the outgoing year 2022. Thus, officials argue that this is another driving force contributing to the unprecedented population decline.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is the Leading Factor
Yue Sung, one of the leading economists in China, argues that the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the leading factors that increased the death ratio in the country. Outbroke in the epicenter, Wuhan, China, the virus claimed millions of lives in China - and across the world. Even to worsen the matter, the pandemic is not over yet, as the country is struggling with the third wave of the virus.
While the pandemic is seemingly in most parts of the world, the epicenter, China, is still struggling with it. And Yue Sung considers the pandemic as a solely responsible factor for the decline in the population of China.
Mass Unemployment in China is Another Factor in the Declining Population
Furthermore, Yue Sung anticipates that this “shrinking population” will remain a trend in the upcoming years. Not only in China but in other Asian countries like Japan, India, and Pakistan. And for many experts, like Yue Sung, it is a positive for the country's economy.
Another factor that plays a pivotal role in lowering the birth rate in China is mass unemployment, argues Yue Sung. She argues that because of mass employment, marriages were delayed. And those who had tied the knot and were still unemployed opted either for a one-child or no-child policy.
Thus, there are numberless factors that are contributing to the historic population decline of China. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is the top one. The virus claimed millions of lives in the country and continues spreading mass panic in China.
On top of that, there is a massive unemployment ratio among young Chinese. In turn, this is disallowing young Chinese from tying the knot and producing kids.