China's Census Shows Population Barely Grew in 10 Years as Births Plummet - The New York Times
May 11, 2021 1 min, 20 secs
Only 12 million babies were born last year, the lowest number of births since 1961, providing fresh evidence of a looming demographic crisis that could complicate Beijing’s ambitions.

China’s population is growing at its slowest pace in decades, with a plunge in births and a graying work force presenting the Communist Party with one of its gravest social and economic challenges.

Only 12 million babies were born in China last year, according to Ning Jizhe, the head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the fourth year in a row that births have fallen in the country.

The figures show that China faces a demographic crisis that could stunt growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The new population figure puts the average annual growth rate at 0.53 percent over the past decade, down from 0.57 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Ning said births last year were lower in part because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Ning said.

The population is also aging rapidly.

People over the age of 65 now account for 13.5 percent of the population, the census showed, up from 8.9 percent in 2010.

When it was younger, that population was one of China’s greatest strengths.

China imposed a one-child policy in 1980 to tamp down population growth.

“The census results will confirm that the payback time is now,” Professor Wang, an expert on China’s demographic trends, said ahead of the release of the results.

as the largest economy,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, a senior China economist at Capital Economics, a research firm.

People under the age of 14 made up 18 percent of the population, up only slightly from 17 percent 10 years ago.

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