Nearly 20 percent fewer babies were born than the year before. The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics has not made a statement. Experts think that’s because the cost of living is rising and women are increasingly making their own family planning choices.
It is well known that China has been struggling with a very low birth rate for decades. The country therefore fears a ‘demographic time bomb’. The children who are now born and growing up are much fewer later than the adults of today, who are then retired.
Smaller and smaller group
This means that in just under 20 years an increasingly smaller group of working people will have to pay for things such as pensions and healthcare costs for a much larger group of older people.
That is why the country has been trying to raise the birth rate for years. In 2015, the ban on having more than one child (‘the infamous one-child policy’) was abolished. That was set up in 1979 to slow down the enormous population growth. Now, China’s population is expected to decline by hundreds of millions before the end of the century.
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