China’s birth rate is at its lowest in more than 40 years

2021-11-24 08:01

2021-11-24 08:01

China's birth rate is at its lowest in more than 40 years
China's birth rate is at its lowest in more than 40 years
photo: Asian foto / / Shutterstock

The birth rate in China fell last year to its lowest level in more than 40 years, despite the efforts of the communist government in Beijing to encourage family enlargement, the AFP agency reported on Wednesday.

Chinese authorities relaxed the “one-child policy” in 2016 and allowed all couples to have two descendants. This year, she was further relaxed and allowed for three children. However, these changes did not bring a baby boom, which is related to, inter alia, with the rising costs of raising children.

Last year, China recorded 8.52 births per 1,000 inhabitants, according to this year’s statistical yearbook. This is the lowest value since such yearbooks began to be published in 1978.

Last year’s birth rate was lower than in the previous year, when it was 10.41 per 1000 inhabitants. According to the state statistical office, it was also the lowest since the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Last year, China also had the fewest registered marriages in 17 years; 8.14 million couples got married. For the first time in 30 years, the number of divorces has fallen, which is associated with the introduction of mandatory 30-day “cool-down periods” in early 2020 before the end of marriage.

The AFP emphasizes that although China introduced stringent lockdowns and closed offices at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were no major restrictions on marriage registration throughout most of 2020.

The reluctance of the Chinese to have more children is associated, among other things, with the rising costs of living, especially in large cities. Women also make their own decisions about family planning more often than before, writes AFP.

A government research institute found that in 2005, raising a child cost an average Chinese family of PLN 490,000. yuan (USD 74.8 thousand). According to local media, by 2020 this cost had even increased to 1.99 million yuan, so it had quadrupled in 15 years.

Last year’s census showed that China’s population grew at the slowest pace since the 1950s over the past decade. The number of inhabitants of the country increased in 2010-2020 by less than 5.4 percent, from 1.34 to 1.41 billion. The census results were announced in May this year.

Andrzej Borowiak from Canton


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