The number of births in China fell below 10 million for the first time last year, and is expected to remain below the 7 million mark this year.
The Hong Kong South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on August 11th (local time), citing a forecast from the Peking University School of Medicine in China, that the number of births in China will drop to less than 8 million this year. The number of births in China hit an all-time low of 9.57 million last year, and could drop by more than 20% this year. The number of newborns born in China has fallen by about 40% over the past five years.
Declining birth rates also affected the population of China as a whole. Last year, China's population fell by 850,000 people for the first time since 1961, when the Great Famine broke out. The number of kindergartens in China last year (289,200) decreased by 5,610 from the previous year due to the rapid decline in the birth rate in recent years. Last year was also the first time since the financial crisis that the number of kindergartens in China has fallen. According to China's Ministry of Education, a total of 46.3 million children were enrolled in kindergartens last year, down 3.7% from the previous year.
In particular, the analysis shows that the social phenomenon of avoiding marriage due to the uncertain economic future is leading to a decline in the number of births. Last year, the number of marriages registered in China was 6.83 million, the ninth straight year of decline and the lowest number since the late 1970s. The SCMP said, "With economic difficulties continuing and the prospects for the future bleak, young people in China are delaying marriage and adopting a passive attitude toward life."
China's low fertility rate is accelerating despite the government's offering of incentives such as cash compensation, parental leave, and housing subsidies to boost fertility rates. Demographers have advised that China must embrace and adapt to the new system to improve fertility. However, he pointed out that there is no immediate effect of improving the birth rate. "We are concerned about the declining number of women in the reproductive period and the increasing rate of infertility," said the director of the Center for Health Sciences at Peking University. "We need more investment in disease prevention research for women and children."
Published : 2023/08/14 11:48 KST
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