After the controversial one-child policy came to an end, China continues facing an ‘unstoppable’ decline in their population growth. This report came about when the country’s birth rate fell by 3.5 percent in 2017 despite an end to the highly controversial ‘one-child policy.’ China’s population is set to peak at 1.44 billion in 2029 before beginning an “unstoppable” decline in 2030, according to a shocking new report. The World Bank data from 2017 also showed a Chinese population of 1.386 billion with fewer and fewer workers struggling to support an increasingly aging society. With this shocking new report, some data now hints that India may already be the most populous country in the world.
By mid-century, China’s population is expected to fall to 1.36 billion, with a consequent drop in the workforce of roughly 200 million. If fertility rates remain in or around current levels, the population could drop as low as 1.17 billion by 2065, the report warns.
"In theory, long-term population decline, especially accompanied with the increasing escalation of aging of the population, is bound to bring very negative social and economic consequences," the report states.
Experts have warned that as China's working-age population shrinks so too will domestic consumption, which could have unintended consequences for the global economy, which has relied on China as a growth engine. Report has also now stated that says the country should start preparing and crafting policy to meet the challenges of the impending decline.
Under current family planning rules, the majority of Chinese couples are limited to two children. This policy has however failed to produce a spike in the birth rate. In 2017, the country's total fertility rate was 1.6 children per woman, well below the 2.1 rates estimated to be necessary to keep the population steady.
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The current, two-child restrictions look set to be further relaxed under a draft reform to the country's Civil Code, potentially allowing families to have multiple children for the first time in decades. With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, current estimates project that the population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100. The UN estimates that India will overtake China by 2024 as the world’s most populous country, though some believe this already occurred last year. By 2100, over 80 percent of the world’s population will live in either Asia or Africa.
(With inputs from sources)