China’s National Bureau of Statistics recently released figures showing that, in 2012, the number of Chinese who are of working age, that is, between 15 and 59, has declined significantly since 1978. The decrease in 2011 was 3.45 million.
Yao Shujie, a professor at the University of Nottingham, in the UK, believes that 30 years of family planning in China first showed up in 2006 as a decrease in the number of primary school students. That the working age population has now contracted for the first time foretells the looming end of an era of abundant cheap labor.
Another report by the China Development Research Foundation predicted that, between 2010 and 2020, China’s working-age population will decrease by 29 million.
Source: Radio Free Asia, January 30, 2013