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CHINA’S FALLING POPULATION

Causes and Implications



China, recognized as the world's most populous country, has been facing a challenge in recent years. The country's population is declining, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. This will have far-reaching implications for its economy, society, and international standing. As of 2021, India's population was estimated to be approximately 1.366 billion people, making it the second-most populous country in the world, while China's population stood at approximately 1.413 billion people, making it the most populous country in the world. However, recent data shows that India's population is growing at a much faster rate than China’s, and it is well on its way to becoming the world's most populous country. At the end of 2022, India’s population had reached 1.417 billion, according to an estimate of the World Population Review, while China was at 1.412 billion people, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.


Reasons of China's falling population


China's declining population can be attributed to several factors, with the most significant ones being an aging population, declining fertility rate, and the one-child policy. This has resulted in a decline in the number of young people entering the workforce.

The fertility rate in China has been declining for several decades due to rising living costs, changing social attitudes, and the one-child policy. The one-child policy, which was implemented in 1979, and remained in force until 2015, aimed to control population growth. This policy had a significant impact on the country's population growth. Although the policy has been lifted, and China is currently encouraging people to have as many as three children, the damage has already been done, and the declining population is evidence of the policy's effectiveness.


Implications of China's falling population

The declining population in China is expected to have significant implications for the country's economy. The aging population has led to a drop in the number of consumers, which is negatively impacting China's consumer-driven economy.


Furthermore, with an increase in the number of elderly people who require support, China's social welfare system is becoming stressed. The decrease in the working-age population means there are fewer people to support the elderly. This puts additional pressure on the country's social welfare system, including healthcare and pension systems.

The declining population also has implications for China's competitiveness on the global stage. As the population shrinks, a smaller workforce and consumer base could negatively impact the country's economic prowess.


Key demographic differences between India and China

India and China have notable differences in their respective populations. India has a relatively young population, with a median age of 27 years, while China's population is aging, with a median age of 38 years. The urbanization levels of the two countries also differ significantly, with China having a much higher level of urbanization than India.

Over 60% of China's population lives in urban areas, while only about 34% of India's population lives in urban areas. Additionally, China has a significant gender imbalance, with a higher ratio of men to women due to the one-child policy and a cultural preference for male children.



By Arya Thirumalaraj

Grade 10

Shanghai Gold Apple School, Shanghai

Arya, originally from Bangalore, has been living in Shanghai with his parents for seven years. He has a keen sense of observation and takes a great interest in everyday happenings. Juggling, solving the Rubik’s cube, and playing basketball are his other main interests.




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