​China's Birth Rate Continues to Decline

By Billy Jiang, October 13, 2023

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On October 12, the National Health Commission of China released its annual report on the development of the country's healthcare sector for the year 2022. 

The report sheds light on a range of key indicators related to population growth and health, with noteworthy insights into China's ongoing demographic trends.

In terms of population development, the report revealed that China saw a total of 9.56 million births in 2022. 

Among these births, second children accounted for 38.9%, while those having three or more children made up 15% of the total. 

The gender ratio of newborns stood at 111.1 boys for every 100 girls. 

Moreover, in 2022, the mortality rates for various groups saw declines. 

The mortality rate for children under five years of age was 6.8 per thousand live births, while the infant mortality rate was 4.9 per thousand live births. 

The maternal mortality rate was reported at 15.7 per 100,000 live births, all of which demonstrated varying degrees of improvement.

One of the most significant trends highlighted in the report is the continuous decline in the total number of births in China each year since 2016:

  • 2016: 18.83 million

  • 2017: 17.65 million

  • 2018: 15.23 million

  • 2019: 14.65 million

  • 2020: 12.02 million

  • 2021: 10.62 million

  • 2022: 9.56 million


The total number of births in China each year since 1950. Data from 中经数据. Screenshot by That's

Analyzing the data, it becomes evident that the proportion of second children among the newborns has decreased, indicating that the influence of the two-child policy has become minimal. 

On the other hand, the proportion of third children has risen, suggesting that the three-child policy has had some effect. 

However, this increase in third-child births is relatively small, highlighting the significant challenges faced in promoting higher birth rates.

READ MORE: China’s Population Shrinks for 1st Time in 61 Years

China's policy to allow couples to have a second child was introduced on January 1, 2016, while the policy for a third child was announced on May 31, 2021. 

The results obtained from these policies seem to have yielded modest outcomes thus far.

READ MORE: Sichuan Scraps 3-Child Policy, Allows Unlimited Children

For the latest updates and news, please follow our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image via Pixabay

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