China's birth rate falls in 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic

WION Web Team
Beijing Published: Feb 10, 2021, 01:54 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

According to recent data, about 20 per cent of Chinese citizens almost 250 million people are above the age of 60.

According to China's ministry of public security, the number of newborns in the country dropped by 15 per cent last year.

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China saw 10.03 million births in 2020, compared to 11.79 million in 2019 highlighting the impact of coronavirus, which besides having disrupted economies and livelihoods, has also altered decisions of couples to start a family.

China's demographic issues could pose a serious threat to the world's second-largest economy when the current working-age population reaches retirement. Experts say that if the trend continues, or the population begins to shrink, China may get old before it gets rich.

China from 1979 to 2015 had followed the "one-child policy" limiting most couples to a single baby, as part of its attempt at controlling a rapidly growing population. 

As a result of the policy, China's fertility rate fell dramatically and at the same time, the number of people over the age of 65 increased from 3.36 per cent in 1965 to almost 10 per cent in 2015, when the one-child policy was switched to allowing two children, however, the move hasn't resulted in a baby boom.

The government data further shows the gender balance was 52.7 per cent boys and 47.3 per cent girls.

According to recent data, about 20 per cent of Chinese citizens almost 250 million people are above the age of 60. The retired population in China is expected to reach 300 million by 2025.

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