China’s population is expected to contract before 2025, with the number of new births in 2021 dropping to the lowest in decades in all provinces, Global Times reportedquoting a senior health official.
The number of births in central Hunan province fell below 500,000 for the first time in nearly 60 years, state media said, indicating a significant slowdown in population growth.
Only Guangdong province in southern China recorded more than a million new births, he said, citing birth data released late Sunday.
China is struggling to reverse a rapid slowdown in natural population growth as many young people choose not to have children due to factors such as high cost and labor pressure.
China’s population is expected to start declining in 2021-25, the Global Times said, citing Yang Wenzhuang, head of population and family affairs at the National Health Commission.
A change in Chinese laws last year to allow women to have three children has not helped, with many women saying the change comes too late and they don’t have enough job security and gender equality.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard