China's Demographic Winter

Two-Child Policy Won't Bring Desired Baby Boom, Experts Say
A survey by the news portal Sina.com shortly after the one-child rule was dropped found that only one-third of respondents said they wanted to have a second child. This sentiment is echoed by a study by researchers at Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing that found that from 1980 to 2011 the number of couples willing to have a second child fell from 59 percent to 15 percent.

If the government was unaware of this trend, it learned after it eased family planning rules in 2013. That change allowed couples in which either parent was an only child to have a second baby, but easing it only led to an extra 470,000 newborns in 2014, far short of the 2 million the government predicted.

Experts fear couples may give the latest change a similar lukewarm response. "The year of 2017 will have the most newborns since 1991, but the number will be far less than the average in previous decades," Huang told Caixin.

Even if the fertility rate increased by almost one-third after removing all population control policies, by 2050 the number of newborns will drop 42 percent from current level to about 8 million, Huang and Liang wrote. The annual death rate over the same period will reach 23 million, so the population will continue to shrink, they said.

Liang said he thinks this shrinking will start even earlier, in 2025. "The birth rate has hovered below a replacement level for more than 20 years so a future population decline is inevitable," he told Caixin.
More likely is the fertility rate will fall even further at the country pushes urbanization as a way to lift GDP.

No comments:

Post a Comment