China’s Population Continues to Plummet as Beijing Scrambles to Find Solutions

Chinese crowd
by Jake Smith


China’s population is continuing to shrink despite Beijing’s thorough attempts to encourage more births, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The Chinese population sharply declined by 2 million people in 2023, more than double the loss of the prior year, according to official data China’s government released on Wednesday. Beijing has tried to alleviate the crisis by scrapping its one-child policy and encouraging families to have more children, but those efforts have had little effect in stalling or reversing the decline.

The population crisis is due in part to a record-low number of births, which fell from approximately 10 million in 2022 to 9 million in 2023, according to the data. Many Chinese women are refusing to have more children and are instead focusing on their own well-being, even despite Beijing’s pleas and public campaigns on the benefits of having a family, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lower birth rates will also contribute to an already-struggling Chinese economy. China’s overall gross domestic product grew by roughly 5.2% in 2023, lower than pre-pandemic levels and the lowest growth rate since 1990, according to the WSJ. Many of China’s top industries failed to meet performance targets in 2023, while foreign investment and Chinese stocks dropped to record lows.

The average Chinese population is also aging, as one out of every five Chinese people is 60 or older, according to the WSJ. Meanwhile, youth unemployment in China spiked to 21% in 2023, further straining the aging workforce.

Altogether, “[this] will lead to structural changes in economic growth, especially in consumption,” Beijing banking executive Shen Meng told Bloomberg. “There hasn’t been a comprehensive development policy targeted at these areas.”

While births in China have declined, the number of deaths has spiked to decades-old highs, rising from 10.4 million in 2022 to 11.1 million in 2023, a roughly 700,000-person increase, according to the data. The higher death rate likely coincides with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic; the number of coronavirus cases in China rose sharply after lockdown measures were suddenly lifted by Beijing in late 2022, Bloomberg reported.

However, exact figures on the number of COVID-related deaths in 2023 are not clear, as Beijing has stopped publishing relevant information on the matter, according to the WSJ.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Jake Smith is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. 





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