China admits nine provinces saw birth rates drop in 2021

Birth rates in nine Chinese provinces and autonomous regions fell in 2021, government says world times reported Wednesday.

“From Sunday [April 3]23 provinces and autonomous regions in China released birth rate demographic data for 2021. The data showed that nine provinces experienced natural negative population increase in 2021,” according to the Chinese state-run newspaper.

The nine provinces and regions included Hebei (which surrounds China’s national capital, Beijing), Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, Shanxi, Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai and Heilongjiang.

“Among them, Jiangsu, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi all recorded negative natural population growth rates for the first time in recent decades,” world times noted on April 6.

China comprises 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

“In terms of birth rate, only two of the 23 provinces – Guizhou and Qinghai – had a birth rate above 1% [in 2021],” the world times seen on Wednesday.

China’s declining birth rate is the result of limits the country has imposed for decades on married couples. The Chinese Communist Party applied a strict one-child policy to almost all families from around 1980 to 2016, enforcing it through forced abortions and infanticide. The Party imposed the measure in the late 1970s in an effort to curb China’s then-explosive population growth. The policy was expanded to allow married couples to have up to two children in 2016 and again to three children in August 2021.

A couple push their child in a stroller between bicycles at a busy Beijing intersection on June 2, 2021, days after China announced it would allow couples to have three children. (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Beijing felt compelled to relax its child limits after realizing the measure had caused unforeseen repercussions among China’s domestic population. These negative impacts included a declining birth rate and distorted demographics. China currently has many more men than women after couples overwhelmingly showed a preference for male offspring during the years of the one-child policy. In addition, the Chinese population is aging.

“China had a fertility rate of just 1.3 children per woman in 2020, according to recent data, on par with aging societies like Japan and Italy and well below the roughly 2.1 needed for the level replacement,” Reuters reported in May 2021.

The World Bank defines a total fertility rate as representing “the number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years and have children according to the age-specific fertility rates of the World Bank. specified year.”

China’s population fell in 2021 to its lowest level in 60 years, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced in January.

“Last year, the overall population of the Chinese mainland increased by only 480,000, compared to 2.04 million in 2020 and the lowest in six decades,” China Dailywhich belongs to the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, recalled on March 4.

“He Dan, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said China’s population has entered the ‘zero growth range’ – when the difference between births and deaths falls to less than one. million,” the newspaper reported to the Times.


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