The challenge of keeping China from shrinking

When newborns continued to decrease in 2017 and 2018 in China even after the one-child policy was lifted, many demographers argued that the two-child policy effect had not been fully realized and still recommended conservative policies.
When newborns continued to decrease in 2017 and 2018 in China even after the one-child policy was lifted, many demographers argued that the two-child policy effect had not been fully realized and still recommended conservative policies.PHOTO: NYTIMES

(CAIXIN GLOBAL) - China's once-in-a-decade census showed an ultra-low fertility rate, a shrinking labour force and a rapidly ageing population, alerting policymakers of the urgent need for significant changes to reverse or at least ease a dramatic plunge in population that could sap economic growth.

The numbers herald drastic demographic changes for China in coming decades. At present, the world's most populated country still adds 12 million newborns every year.

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