Shenzhen Population Drops for 1st Time in 43 Years

By Alistair Baker-Brian, May 10, 2023

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The total population of Shenzhen dropped in 2022, according to a report by the city’s Bureau of Statistics published on May 8, 2023. 

The report contained a series of figures related to the economic and societal development of the South China metropolis. 

In 2022, the total permanent population – defined as those residing in Shenzhen for at least six months per year – was 17.6618 million. In 2021, the total permanent population was 17.6816 million – a year-on-year decrease of 19,800. 

Of the total permanent population in 2022, 5.8347 million have Shenzhen household registration (hukou), while 11.8271 million are without Shenzhen household registration. 

This is the first time since 1979 – one year before the city was declared a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) – that Shenzhen’s population has declined, according to Economic News Daily. 

The southern metropolis, located on the border with China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is synonymous with the country’s Reform and Opening Up era.

The creation of the SEZ brought waves of investment and an influx of workers, taking Shenzhen from being a small fishing village to one of the world’s most populated cities. 

However, Shenzhen has not been immune from a shrinking population – a story reflected across China. 

Earlier this year, authorities announced a drop in the country’s total population of 850,000 or 0.6% – the first population decline since 1961. 

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

In January of this year, authorities in Shenzhen announced financial incentives for couples to have more children, including a one-off payment of RMB10,000 for a third child, and monthly payments until the age of 3 years old. 

Shenzhen is not the only place where those at the top have responded to the population decline. Earlier this year, authorities in Sichuan Province removed the three-child limit, allowing couples to have as many children as they want. 

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

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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