New Delhi, China is the most populous country in the world. But for the first time in decades, China’s population declined last year. According to experts, this reduction may have an adverse effect on the economy in the long run.
Next week, the Chinese government may release details of the total number of children born in 2022, which may show a decline of up to 10 million, according to He Yafu, an independent demographer. 1.06 crore babies were born in 2021 and the number may be less in 2022.
The lowest birth rate since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 was recorded in 2021, and this was the sixth year in a row that fewer children were born. According to the demographer, 1.01 crore people died in the country in 2021 and even more deaths may be recorded in 2022 and one of the reasons for this is the spread of corona virus.
The population is declining faster than expected and this may stunt growth. The number of workers is declining and the long-term demand for housing will also decrease going forward and the government may also find it difficult to pay compensation under the National Pension Scheme.
The conclusion would be that China’s economy may not overtake the US economy in size and may even lose the title of the world’s most populous country. If this happens, India will become the most populous country in the world. China’s decades-long one-child policy also adds to the problem, and the gender ratio has gone down.
As a result, the number of women who can give birth at an appropriate age has decreased. Even though the government has allowed families to have more than one child, there is no age limit for women. In some regions of China, couples are given incentives to have children.
In addition to financial assistance of 10,000 yuan, an additional 3,000 yuan is also given every year. “These efforts to increase the birth rate are too little and too late to implement,” said Christopher Bedroff of Gavekal Dragonomics.
The decline in the working-age population will be even greater. In 2050, the number of such people will decrease to 650 million, a decrease of 260 million is already visible from 2020, said Bloomberg Economics.
Retirement age can also pose some challenges, said UBS AG Wang Tao. But China has to overcome some challenges. For four decades, the retirement age for men and 55 for women has been higher in China than in white-collar jobs. In contrast, in Japan and Taiwan, pensions can be obtained by retiring at a slightly older age.SS1MS