China’s population shrinks by 2 million, continuing trend


By Aluta News

Jan. 17, 2024

China’s population decline accelerated in 2023, according to the Beijing statistics office.

According to a statement from the statistics office on Wednesday, there were around 1.41 billion people living in the People’s Republic at the end of December, 2.08 million fewer than previous year.

In 2022, China’s population had already shrunk for the first time in six decades. However, at around 850,000 people, the decline was smaller than in the previous year.

As a sign of the difficult demographic development, the number of births continued to slow down; having about 9.02 million babies were born in China.

In 2022, the figure was 9.56 million.

At the same time, the number of deaths rose from 10.41 million to 11.1 million, probably also due to the coronavirus pandemic.

China has long been suffering from a sharp decline in the birth rate and an ageing population.

The effects of the decades-long “one-child policy” are becoming ever clearer. The relaxation of the controversial birth control policy has only led to a slight short-term increase in birth rates since 2016.

Experts see the high cost of housing, education and healthcare in China as well as the declining willingness to marry as the real reasons for this worrying trend.

The last time the population shrank was in 1960 and 1961 as a result of the severe famines following the devastating industrialisation campaign known as the ”Great Leap Forward”.

In 2021, the population grew by 450,000 people for the last time.


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