China's Population May Decline Sooner Than You Think

By Ryan Gandolfo, January 7, 2019

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A report by Social Sciences Academic Press (SSAP) was released on Thursday, January 3, claiming China’s population will peak at 1.44 billion people in 2029. The release, titled Reports on China’s Population and Labor (No. 19), was discussed at a meeting in Beijing last Thursday.

Starting in 2030, China’s massive population is expected to decline in size, with SSAP estimating that by 2050 the population will fall to 1.36 billion people. This negative population growth may start as early as 2026 if the fertility rate remains at a level of 1.6.

This inevitable drop in population size will create a wider gap between the elderly population and the working population, with a larger number of elderly and retired people in proportion to younger generations. 

The study also goes on to highlight that more and more people will move to urban centers for work, estimating that by 2050, 80 percent of the Chinese population will be living in an urban setting. 

In March 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) made a similar announcement on the population’s peak level, estimating a 1.45 billion population peak (a difference of just 10 million people). 

One noticeable change from last year’s announcement is the expected rate of negative population growth. Last year, NHFPC estimated that by 2050 the population would be 1.4 billion, while this year that figure dropped to 1.36 billion. 

Between a sizeable percent of Chinese millennials having an underwhelming sex life and the number of marriages decreasing in recent years, future population demographics are unlikely to bounce back for some time.

READ MORE: 1 in 3 Chinese People Will Be 60 Years Old or Older in 2050 

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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