CNN: Number of newborns registered in China drops 15% amid population decline fears
Tue February, 2021, Age: 3 years
This week, China’s Ministry of Public Security published the number of newborns registered with the ministry in 2020, revealing a 15% decline from 2019. While the decline is somewhat contributable to the Coronavirus pandemic, it constitutes a continuation of a trend of declining birthrates over the past several years. In 2019, China recorded its lowest birthrate since the People’s Republic’s founding in 1949. According to Stuart Gietel-Basten, a Professor of Social Science and Public Policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, “the number of new babies born is never going to be that high in future, because the number of childbearing women is declining, and will be declining rapidly (in years to come).” This is due largely to China’s “one-child” policy that was in force from 1979 to 2015. Aimed at curbing China’s rapidly growing population, it has had deleterious affects on the number of young women in the country. A smaller population of child-bearing aged women, in tandem with a shift in cultural attitudes away from marriage and child-rearing means this trend of lower birthrates is likely to continue and eventually constitute a significant issue for the country.