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Before 2025, China’s Population Will Shrink

China’s National Health Commission (NHC), the country’s top agency overseeing the public health, has revealed that the total population will show negative growth during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). The statement was made in an article published in Qiushi magazine on August 1. Qiushi is the flagship publication of the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to the NHC’s 2021 survey, women of childbearing age continue to show a low desire to have children. The average number of planned childbirths per woman is 1.64, down from 1.76 in 2017 and 1.73 in 2019. The measure is only 1.54 for Chinese women born in the 1990s, and 1.48 for those born in the 2000s.

As population growth has slowed down significantly, the fertility levels have fallen, with the total fertility rate, or the average number of children per woman, dropping to below 1.3 in recent years. It is estimated that the population will fall during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

NHC observed that the population distribution will show three major characteristics. First is a seriously aging society. It is expected that around 2035, the proportion of people over 60 years old will exceed 30 percent of the total population. Second is the smaller household size. The average household size will show a drop to 2.62 persons in the figures for 2020, a decrease of 0.48 persons compared to 2010. Third, there will be an uneven regional development.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), August 1, 2022