China’s National Bureau of Statistics has announced that it will conduct a nationwide sample survey in November to monitor the country’s population development and changes. This comes after China officially announced in January that the population in 2022 showed negative growth for the first time in nearly 61 years, signaling the end of the demographic dividend. Despite various measures taken to boost the birth rate, including financial incentives and improved childcare facilities, China’s birth rate continues to decline significantly.
The last decennial census in China was conducted in November 2020, revealing the slowest growth rate since the first modern population survey in the 1950s. The birth rate stood at just 6.77 per 1,000, the lowest since the Great Famine. In light of these trends, concerns have been raised about the difficulty of giving birth and raising children in China, leading many women to choose not to have children or limit the number of children they have due to high costs and interruption to careers.
Furthermore, China is facing the challenge of an aging population. It is projected that by the end of the “14th Five-Year Plan” in 2025, China’s population aged 60 and above will exceed 300 million, accounting for more than 20% of the total population. By 2035, this figure is expected to exceed 400 million, entering the stage of severe aging.
There have been concerns over the accuracy of China’s population data, with accusations of falsification and delayed policy adjustments. Demographer Yi Fuxian estimates that China’s fertility rate is actually lower than official data suggests, placing it between Taiwan and South Korea. Elon Musk has also warned of a “demographic collapse”, predicting a 40% decrease in each generation.
Questions have been raised about the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on China’s population and the accuracy of data. The sudden announcement of the nationwide sample survey has led to speculation about the true extent of the population’s decline. It is suggested that the Chinese Communist Party authorities may be panicking due to the significant population death rate and the inability to accurately track these figures.
With censorship and blockade prevalent in China, the “Look at China” website is recruiting honorary members to help provide independent and true information to mainland Chinese compatriots in times of crisis. These honorary members would pay an annual subscription fee to support the website’s efforts to break through censorship and provide valuable services to at least 10,000 individuals.
The nationwide sample survey, set to take place in November, aims to provide accurate and timely data on population changes in China. It remains to be seen what impact this survey will have on the understanding of the country’s population dynamics and the subsequent formulation of population-related policies.
Source: Look at China